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Torn between the love of my life and my career.. at the same time as a tragedy in the family. Help


jo1992

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I'm writing this message in the hope that someone can help me. I can't talk to any of my girlfriends about this situation because none of them can relate to my situation. I genuinely feel so lost.

 

I'm a 24 year old girl and I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years - he is French from southern France and I'm from London. I had a great career in London and we met on holiday in Spain.. I was on a girls holiday and he was with all of his guys. We fell for each other straight away and were inseparable ever since. We did long distance for 1 year - with him travelling to London every month and myself to southern France alike, until a year and a half ago when we decided we HAD to be together.

 

 

Him moving to London wasn't an option because he has a gorgeous 9 year old daughter here, so I upped my life in London, found a good job in my field (marketing), learnt French and now here I am.

I love him so much and I honestly feel that he could be the one, but I miss my life in London so much - my girlfriends, my mum who is my best friend, the buzzy life style, money. I don't feel like the southern French life is for me and I had almost made a 70% decision to move home.. until last week when my boyfriend's mother died suddenly of a heart attack.

 

 

He is absolutely devastated. He lost his dad when he was only 18 years old and now he feels like his life just has no meaning. All I want to do is help him and to make him feel better but I feel so helpless. The worst part is that I have an amazing job offer back in London (as I was interviewing the last few months just to measure my worth on the market if I decided to move home)..

I am SO STUCK on what to do. There is no way I can turn around and tell him now that I'm moving back to London for a new job, but I don't know when another opportunity like this will come around.. and I also love him so much, I'm so angry at the world for the fact he can't move to London with me. I feel to torn and almost trapped.

 

 

My friends tell me that London is too crowded, expensive, rainy and the quality of life in southern France is so much better and I know that.. but now I miss my own mother more than anything and I want to hold her close and raise my family in the same country as her. I feel so evil that I have realized this as a result of his own mother dying.. but it really has made me realize that family is everything. Southern France also doesn't have the same opportunities as London, especially in my field. I'm so driven and motivated and I want to excell in my career. This job offer will seriously be a huge step for my career, southern France is very much more chilled with very limited opportunity to make a lot of money. Not that money is all that matters, but here I feel so secluded from everything that is important to me. My family, my friends, my support network..

 

 

I gave up everything to be here with him .. my friends, family, support network, my good salary. I don't know what to do.. because as I said I love him with all my heart. He is supportive, caring and loving. Would I ever meet someone like him again? I adore him so much and the thought of being with anyone else makes me sick. But I'm tired of France. I find the English much more friendly, I'm tired of living further away from the city which makes it difficult to see friends and socialize in the evenings because I can't get anywhere without a car.. and moving nearer the center isn't an option for him because he needs to be near where his daughter's mother lives.

 

I also panic knowing that as I'm nearly 25, I would be approaching the age where most of my girlfriends back home are getting engaged with their boyfriends and I start all over again.... I don't even want to be thinking about these horrible things when I love my boyfriend so much!! I feel so torn

 

 

Any advice would honestly be so appreciated

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Jo, reading through your post I think you are just feeling a bit panicky at the moment. That happens to most of us from time to time!

 

OK. First question. What is preventing you from marrying this man, your current BF? He is supportive caring and loving. Your relationship sounds good.

And you have a job in France. What more could you ask.

 

Next: France and U.K. are not exactly on different planets LOL. Indeed very close with great connections. You could probably be in London from France quicker than you would from point A to B within the U.K. itself. Nothing to prevent you from going back and forth to U.K. when you wish.

 

Girlfriends are not your partner. London is great (I've lived there myself for a while in the past) but I wouldn't want to live there.

 

I am so sorry to hear your BF lost his mother. Loss is unfortunately part of life.

 

In essence the bottom line is choice between this job back in UK and your BF. Again, I ask are you two getting married?

 

Life is life, Jo. Getting mad at the world will only give you stress, and you don't want that.

 

If my choice was between London and south of France I know exactly what my choice would be, and into the mix is this man you truly love.

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Honestly it sounds to me like you are not anywhere near ready to settle down and that is what's truly eating at you. You are full of life, ambition, drive and desire to spread your wings and see how high you can soar. Living the quiet country life is not for you at this time and may never be who you are.

 

Sometimes love is not enough. This guy's life and lifestyle do not mesh well with who you are. So if you continue to stay with him, you'll grow increasingly miserable and resentful and eventually that love is liable to turn to hate.

 

I'd say take the job offer and return to London. If you don't want to end things abruptly, then you can travel to visit as you both can. I think in the end you'll meet a guy who is more like yourself in terms of lifestyle, ambition, energy, etc and that will probably work way better for you.

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Hi LaHermes.

 

Thank you so much for your response. Well firstly my boyfriend doesn't really believe in marriage. We have had multiple conversations about it and he feels that you don't need to get married to prove your love for someone. I however feel completely the opposite and to get married to the love of my life, and dream of having a wedding.

 

We have stopped having conversations about it because the last time we did we had a heated debate about it, and he asked what I would do if the person I was with didn't want to get married. I told him that I would be hurt because its a sign of commitment, and for me especially it is reassurance because I live in another country with someone who already has a child with someone else.. and that I wouldn't want to put my own children in a horrible situation in the future whereby maybe we split up and have to live in a different country to their father. It's commitment for me.. I committed by moving country and I wouldlike the same commitment one day.

 

He said that for him commitment is wanting to have a family with me and be with me forever.. and that he doesn't need to get married to prove that.. and that forcing him to do something he doesn't believe in would be selfish..

 

(I know this sounds like he is a bad person but he's not.. he just simply doesn't believe in marriage). But of course to me this is a huge thing in the back of my mind all of the time. Of course I can't tell him this now because of what has just happened to him. I just feel so trapped.

 

And yes, you may think that you would prefer to live in the south of France but when you actually live here and experience it.. its totally different. The shops shut over winter, its almost deserted.. the "workers" are so lazy that none of my French colleagues at work motivate me. They complain all day about the fact they only get 1 hour 30 for lunch rather than 2 hours because we are an english company.. they complain that we work 9 - 6 instead of the usual French 9-5... , French women also seem to be a lot less friendly. I have struggled to make real friends here that aren't my friends from work.

 

But of course I love him..

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That's exactly how I feel. I feel so trapped and that I moved in with someone I love way too young for my years (at 23) , and as much as I love him with all my heart, I feel deep regret for wasting my young years when I could be having fun with my friends in London, making money and enjoying myself. I see all the pictures on Facebook of my friends enjoying young times and I'm here with my boyfriend in beautiful South of France just wanting to have control of my own life making money, spending time with my girlfriends, with my family, doing all the things that are fun.

 

Don't get me wrong, southern France is beautiful, we have white beaches and 300 days of sun a year which makes it SO hard to think of leaving to go back to the big cloud in London.. and we live such a lovely life together.. but I just want my life and my friends and my family.

 

Regarding ambition and lifestyle.. the problem is that my boyfriend is perfect. He plays semi-pro professional rugby on the side of running his own business. He does VERY well with his business and is very driven, he motivates me to keep active and we go off on our hikes and travels. We are perfect for each other if only I could transport him to the UK. Sometimes I wonder if I tried even harder at trying to immerse in the lifestyle in France I would be happier but to be totally honest... I'm so tired of trying to immerse to the French life. Sometimes I just want to speak my own language and live my own culture. It's tiring, and I'm tired.. Yet I know when I leave I would be so heartbroken to leave my boyfriend and this beautiful way of life.. but I miss my childhood friends in London who are still like sisters to me ..

 

I also don't think I want to have a family in another country from my mother. Now my boyfriend has lost both of his parents, my child would have NO grandparents in the same country.. as my parents are in London and his are gone.

 

I'm so lost. I feel so depressed and down I can't even function right now. I just want to cry

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You sound like you have had to give up alot to be with him.

 

I know you love him but its more about what makes you happy in the long run

 

- you sound like your career is important to you and that is definately going to be better in London- it could be a case of compromise really.

 

Although- if your boyfriend is definate about no marriage and thats something that you do want,

there could be issues alot further down the line and your still very very young

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This is what I think. He doesn't want marriage. You do. That is a deal breaker in my book. You can love him all you want, but he is not going to marry you. Go to London and follow your dream. Marriage and babies will follow.:star: chi

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This is what I think. He doesn't want marriage. You do. That is a deal breaker in my book. You can love him all you want, but he is not going to marry you. Go to London and follow your dream. Marriage and babies will follow.:star: chi

 

^With the added info, very much agree with above. This is a serious deal breaker. A major one. So is his lifestyle and the fact that you two are actually clashing over it.

Go back to London and live your life. This man is not going to give you what you want no matter how much you love him and how much other things are nice with him. Unfortunately, the other things are superficial. You two don't see eye to eye where it counts and love won't fix that. Stop wasting your time and move on. Pursue the life that you want.

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Jo:

 

I would just urge you to think long and hard about this. Yes, I do know what France is like, and yes, I lived abroad all my life. In any case and on this aspect alone, there are a lot of English people living in that part of the world. From your description it sounds like it is a resort area or close to one.

 

I am from an island country, as are you, and certainly one of the reasons I went abroad (for good) at 20 was because I didn't like the insularity. Of course everyone is different and I am the kind of person who would gladly settle in most places. Sure, over all those years I did return to Ireland (my native country) to visit my parents and family. Eventually I married, abroad, although I would have been just as happy to live with the man I married as to have actually married him.

 

Many people live as husband and wife for years, decades, for always, and there is nothing wrong with that either. In any case you would have been aware early on in the relationship that your BF would not wish to marry.

 

I know that in France as in other European countries there is the "partenariat domestique" which can be registered as such and has the same status as marriage. And as such it is a commitment. Have you discussed this and its advantages?

 

No matter where you go there will be people who are less or more "friendly". I have also lived in U.K. and my second best friend is English, and I have found U.K. people of all kinds. Likewise in France. I found that I got on very well with people over there. And being Irish one hears about how friendly, gregarious and fun the Irish are. Up to a point. Being one myself I know full well that so much of that is superficial.......

 

I think you are perhaps feeling overwhelming homesickness and nostalgia right now.

 

Does your BF know of your intentions to possibly return to U.K. ?

 

And I will disagree with you on one point. No, family is not everything. Family is not a loving husband, for example.

 

In all my years abroad family used to come visit me/us, and sure at times I missed them. My parents (now deceased) were wonderful people, and they brought me up to be very independent.

 

Once again you haven't moved across the globe, but only to France, OP.

 

It is rather a pity that your BF might not be amenable to move closer to a city and I hope that once this bereavement is over that you can talk to him about your yearning for a return to UK, and see what kind of compromise can be reached.

 

You remark:

 

"He does VERY well with his business and is very driven, he motivates me to keep active and we go off on our hikes and travels. We are perfect for each other if only I could transport him to the UK."

 

 

 

All you can do, OP, is maybe write out in two columns the pros and cons of the situation. And all I ask you is NOT to take a sudden decision.

 

Just another point to ponder:

 

You remark:

 

"and to get married to the love of my life, and dream of having a wedding.

"

 

So, let us imagine that next week he says yes, he will get married to you. How would that change so drastically all those things you seem to dislike about the place in France you are currently living in. If he marries you then never mind about London, or family, or any of that stuff. In what way will marriage change thing as they are now?

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Hi LaHermes.

 

Thank you so much for your response. Well firstly my boyfriend doesn't really believe in marriage. We have had multiple conversations about it and he feels that you don't need to get married to prove your love for someone. I however feel completely the opposite and to get married to the love of my life, and dream of having a wedding.

 

We have stopped having conversations about it because the last time we did we had a heated debate about it, and he asked what I would do if the person I was with didn't want to get married. I told him that I would be hurt because its a sign of commitment, and for me especially it is reassurance because I live in another country with someone who already has a child with someone else.. and that I wouldn't want to put my own children in a horrible situation in the future whereby maybe we split up and have to live in a different country to their father. It's commitment for me.. I committed by moving country and I wouldlike the same commitment one day.

 

He said that for him commitment is wanting to have a family with me and be with me forever.. and that he doesn't need to get married to prove that.. and that forcing him to do something he doesn't believe in would be selfish..

 

(I know this sounds like he is a bad person but he's not.. he just simply doesn't believe in marriage). But of course to me this is a huge thing in the back of my mind all of the time. Of course I can't tell him this now because of what has just happened to him. I just feel so trapped.

 

And yes, you may think that you would prefer to live in the south of France but when you actually live here and experience it.. its totally different. The shops shut over winter, its almost deserted.. the "workers" are so lazy that none of my French colleagues at work motivate me. They complain all day about the fact they only get 1 hour 30 for lunch rather than 2 hours because we are an english company.. they complain that we work 9 - 6 instead of the usual French 9-5... , French women also seem to be a lot less friendly. I have struggled to make real friends here that aren't my friends from work.

 

But of course I love him..

 

If he didn't believe in marriage, you should not have uprooted your life for him. people who don't believe in marriage and do end up marrying out of fear of losing someone or they are "getting up there in years" usually don't stay married because they don't believe in it, don't believe in putting the work into a relationship, etc.

 

Not a big wedding - but a commitment of marriage is important - particularly if its important to you and you know where he stands. if he says "okay, i'll marry you if that's what you want" - don't do it because his heart is not into it.

 

I honestly think i would take that job offer back in London. Go spend time with your family. Take time to heal and then date men who are marriage minded. You had a vacation romance with this guy that just ended up lasting longer.

 

I think that you feel manipulated and unsure about things because he is saying he has no purpose without his mother. Don't put his feelings above your own. He has a daughter and he'll heal. BTW, what of the mother? Is she dead? Did he marry and divorce her? One night stand?

 

He loves you, but this thing is solely one sided in every way

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I don't know if there is ever a "good time" to break up with someone you care about.

 

Does your boyfriend have family, friends, a support network other than you? My guess is that he does. I don't have advice, exactly, except that I know what if feels like to be left by someone who still cares and to then have your parent die. Yes, it is hard, I was heartbroken for a long time, and the supportive person I was used to was no longer there when I hit other life crises. He tried to still be caring (in a limited way, from a distance), which helped some and didn't help in other ways. Anyway, I've survived, grown closer to siblings and friends, and stronger myself. I bet your boyfriend will survive, too.

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Jo.

 

You have been with this man for three years, so that is not a holiday "romance". Many people meet on holidays, and many actually get married or enter a LTR. It is not that unusual.

 

If you had only been with him three months that is a different matter.

 

I am on your side, Jo.

 

Once again, I ask. If he were to marry you tomorrow, how would that suddenly change your view of where you live? Everything would suddenly become all right once the marriage took place?

 

But anyhow, you knew he did not believe in marriage (and it is right to have that belief), where you are the opposite.

You moved from U.K. to France because you wanted to, Jo. You did not have to, but you did it because you loved this man, but no one put a gun to your head.

 

When people are suddenly bereaved they are entitled to grieve. Bereavement is a traumatic time. It can take time for anyone, including this man, to get over his loss.

 

Life isn't written in terms of black and white, Jo. As you go forward in life you find that out.

 

Just to add:

 

"......as I was interviewing the last few months just to measure my worth on the market if I decided to move home).."

 

Was your BF aware of these interviews over the past months and your thoughts on moving back to U.K.? Did you tell him? And if you did what did he say?

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I also want to add, be careful how you word things. Be careful, because it can make it harder on yourself how you tell your story to yourself

I was on a girls holiday and he was with all of his guys. We fell for each other straight away and were inseparable ever since. We did long distance for 1 year - with him travelling to London every month and myself to southern France alike, until a year and a half ago when we decided we HAD to be together.

 

The way you worded the about is an example. It is not entirely true, as far as basic facts go. You may have met, you may have been attracted to, obsessed with, infatuated with, even loving each other. But you were not, in fact, inseparable, because you WERE separated by distance and time, except for those times you traveled to see each other. You may have "felt" inseparable, but you were separable. I know what you mean, but what you tell yourself is important. We all tell ourselves stories, and when we tell a certain variation often enough, it gets very hard to change. A year and a half ago you two decided you WANTED to be together. You didn't have to, you wanted to. Do you see the difference? Both stories can be true, but there is a difference in how it empowers you. Try rewording it every time you review it in your mind, and see if it opens a new perspective and possibilities for you in the present.

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I also want to add, be careful how you word things. Be careful, because it can make it harder on yourself how you tell your story to yourself

 

The way you worded the about is an example. It is not entirely true, as far as basic facts go. You may have met, you may have been attracted to, obsessed with, infatuated with, even loving each other. But you were not, in fact, inseparable, because you WERE separated by distance and time, except for those times you traveled to see each other. You may have "felt" inseparable, but you were separable. I know what you mean, but what you tell yourself is important. We all tell ourselves stories, and when we tell a certain variation often enough, it gets very hard to change. A year and a half ago you two decided you WANTED to be together. You didn't have to, you wanted to. Do you see the difference? Both stories can be true, but there is a difference in how it empowers you. Try rewording it every time you review it in your mind, and see if it opens a new perspective and possibilities for you in the present.

 

^ This is an incredibly insightful post and very very very true. What you tell yourself and how becomes your reality.

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Hi LaHermes,

 

Thanks again for your kind post.

 

Well for starters, regarding marriage I never knew that he didn't believe in marriage because its not something we ever talked about until around 2 years into our relationship.

 

He has told me that he would "PACS" tomorrow if I wanted to, which is like a civil partnership equivalent in France but so many mixed sex French couples are now doing it as a half-way point to marriage. You benefit from many aspects of marriage including joint tax considerations, specific annual leave dates must be agreed at work to coincide with your partners, you must be given 3 days off to support your partner if someone in their family dies.. etc etc. However if you want to un-PACS, you simply write a letter to the government and you end the contract free of charge, unlike expensive divorces.

 

PACS also means that your inheritance is not affected, so if a partner was to die unexpectedly one day, all of their assets would automatically go to their child/children, leaving the survivor with nothing (unless they specifically make a will to specify what goes to who). Part of me honestly is convinced that he would PACS but not marry in order to protect his daughter. He is so protective of her and adores her. Both his parents died when he was young - his father of cancer. He also has a turbulent relationship with his ex (the mother of his child) and strongly dislikes her because of the amount of money he has to pay her monthly for child support, even though he shares custody 50% and she constantly tries to threaten him for more money by going to court because he has done very well lately for his business, so he is very resentful towards women who want money.

He is very resentful for that and as much as he is a really kind, generous man to me in terms of always surprising me with little gifts, paying for holidays, helping me with petrol if I have a heavy month, all the lovely little things , I worry that him having to legally share his assets completely deters him. Why else would he be happy to PACS and not get married? The only difference between PACS and marriage is the money aspects.

 

 

Also, I love his daughter but I started to feel trapped because I'm only 24 years old and I sometimes found myself getting irritated by her if she made a mess 24/7, had a typical child hissy fit, etc.. if we couldn't go for a nice weekend away because we had her that weekend. I get on with her VERY well and she is like my little friend, but I don't act like her mother and I think any child would prefer it like that. She has her mother who I find very nice. But one day he mentioned in conversation that he would like it if I sometimes even offered to pick her up from school. But why would I do that when she has her mother and father? I'm only 24, I don't want that responsibility just yet! I also finish work at 6 so how could I go and pick her up at 4?! (This is a very minor point though and not the main issue.. but he did tell me that if I ever wanted marriage I would need to be more involved with her.. but I honestly don't know to what extent that was just an excuse because I make lots of effort with her, making dinners when she stays over, etc, playing with her.. just not doing school runs !)

 

Regarding the interviews and whether my boyfriend knew.. no he didn't. I fly back to London every month or 2 for work so I try and combine work and seeing friends and family over a rushed weekend. I managed to squeeze in 3 interviews which was over the time that he revealed he didn't believe in marriage, so I wanted to give myself some kind of back up in case it all went -up. I ended up getting all 3 job offers which were very good offers, and I told him about them and he got really upset saying that he doesn't want me to leave and that he didn't mean he would NEVER get married, just that at the moment he doesn't want to get married.. but that this may change in the future.

 

For me, he is now 32 years old so I feel like having been with his girlfriend for 3 years, you would know whether you want marriage or not. But anyway, he said that he would one day get married for me, but that it needs to come from him and that I can't pressure him (which I understand).

 

I just feel so confused. Even if he proposed right now I don't know what to feel. I don't think I want to live my life away from my best friends in London and my father, my brother, my mother, my aunt and uncle and cousins, the buzzy life of London where I can excel in my career. I feel like I am really holding myself back by staying in France - I have a good job in the south of France in an English company and all of my boyfriend's friends earn less than me and are totally shocked at my job - I travel a lot around Europe for my job and I love it.. but of course the money isn't nearly as good as what I would make in London. But is love really enough? I spend most of my time in France feeling low, and the only things that keep me happy are my boyfriend, my job, my friends at work, the sun in the south and the lifestyle of course.. but what is missing is MY life in England.

 

I worry constantly thinking.. what if something awful was to happen to him? I would be left in France with nothing, no support network, just me. I have moved country and feel honestly like I'm alone.. I would miss the life in southern France immensely and my boyfriend, but sometimes maybe you just have to think with your head?

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Indeed, Jo, it is important to think with one's head.

 

And we cannot foretell the future, and at all costs we must avoid futurising. Something could happen to any of us, today, next month, in ten years time. That's life.

Anyhow you seem to have good family ties in the U.K. so that if something happened you would not be stranded in France "with nothing", leaving aside that France is literally next door to England, and also you would be working. As you say, you have a good job where you are and it takes you travelling throughout the Continent.

 

I feel Jo you need to try to worry less. You feel you are at a crossroads, so you just need to weigh up the pros and cons. If you feel it would help at all, do so in confidence with an objective third party. A second pair of ears or eyes can work wonders, but has to be someone objective.

 

His daughter will always be his, and without stating the obvious she won't be nine yo forever. His situation with his ex sounds rather stressful, but that is in actual fact outside of your domain and it would be unfair of him to let it impact your relationship. He needs to keep that aspect of his life separate. However, if you were to marry this month you would still have his daughter visiting you both. That is a common state of affairs where one or both spouses have been married before.

 

Trying to be King Solomon here lol.

 

Only other option (I suppose) would be to take the job in U.K. (London) and commute to south of France for the week-ends. Best of both worlds maybe? Since you love the climate, lifestyle, friends in S. of France) , that would be a nice week-end break for you, even if not every week-end.

It is a very short flight as you well know, and not expensive. I know a number of people (couples) where he commutes to the U.K. Monday to Friday and returns Friday evening to the destination in Europe where they live. And from further afield than where you are, I might add. So it is doable if you wanted to give it a try. You could then test run the London job, discover if back in the U.K. is all you think it really is, yet still have the France option open.

You could of course drift apart during that kind of experiment, but at least it is worth a try. Do you think?

 

Things can and do change, Jo. But, no one is clairvoyant, and maybe just as well. L.

 

You remarked:

 

"He has told me that he would "PACS" tomorrow if I wanted to, which is like a civil partnership equivalent in France but so many mixed sex French couples are now doing it as a half-way point to marriage. "

 

 

I am well aware of this type of legal arrangement as it now prevails in a number of European countries, with a few differences here and there.

 

So, I leave you with my comments, Jo.

 

I left my country at 20, Jo, though granted it had nothing to do with a relationship or anything like that abroad. And I remained abroad, and I can say I never ever missed my life in my home country. Sure it was great going back, as I often did. But then I was never a home bird, and we are all different.

 

Best of luck and bon courage.

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Hi LaHermes,

 

Thanks again for your kind post.

 

Well for starters, regarding marriage I never knew that he didn't believe in marriage because its not something we ever talked about until around 2 years into our relationship.

 

He has told me that he would "PACS" tomorrow if I wanted to, which is like a civil partnership equivalent in France but so many mixed sex French couples are now doing it as a half-way point to marriage. You benefit from many aspects of marriage including joint tax considerations, specific annual leave dates must be agreed at work to coincide with your partners, you must be given 3 days off to support your partner if someone in their family dies.. etc etc. However if you want to un-PACS, you simply write a letter to the government and you end the contract free of charge, unlike expensive divorces.

 

It is so important to talk about things early in the marriage. I know its scary, but its the best thing. I learned that there is a big difference in talking about marriage because you feel you are dating the person you want to marry - ie, making plans, and talking in general and laying out what you want in life. I would think one of the first things i would ask someone who already has a child or had been divorced if they see themselves marrying at some point. It doesn't mean TO YOU - it means in general.

 

The civil thing he talks about is a cop out and is not the sacrament and commitment that you are looking for. Its the same rights as being a caretaker or someone you buy property with.

 

 

But anyway, he said that he would one day get married for me

 

this is just a breadcrumb to get you to stay. It is truly making marriage something he may or may not begrudginly do for you, but not something he feels or he wants.

 

I'm only 24, I don't want that responsibility just yet! I also finish work at 6 so how could I go and pick her up at 4?! (This is a very minor point though and not the main issue.. but he did tell me that if I ever wanted marriage I would need to be more involved with her.. but I honestly don't know to what extent that was just an excuse because I make lots of effort with her, making dinners when she stays over, etc, playing with her.. just not doing school runs !)

 

This is NOT a minor point. He expects you to parent his child and you at 24 are not ready for the responsibility - which is fine for you to feel.

 

Also,,, i want to point out --- he is starting with the requirements. if someone wants to marry you, they do it because they want to, they are in love with you, etc.. Whoever picks the child up from school would be something to be figured out later. Mark my words, if you picked the child up every day from school and made her lunch, too, he would raise the bar higher. He is setting a condition and will continue to set conditions. My ex had a million of them. If only i would do X better, and when i did it, he came up with something else. This man does NOT want to marry you. And its nothing against you -- he doesn't want to marry ANYONE. He enjoys the sex, the companionship, playing house, having someone else so that he doesn't have to solely deal with his daughter when she is with him, etc... so that's why he won't dump you because of your differences in ideas of commitment -- he will keep you on a string forever.

 

While you are still young - go back home --- if its important for you to live within a reasonable distance of family - do it -- have your successful job and meet a man who is marriage minded. You have made SO many adjustments for this man -- moved to his country, changed jobs, learned a foreign language, dealing with his daughter you aren't really old enough to have given birth to, and he is not as committed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for your message. Perhaps you are right.. but please note he is not a horrible person. I can't help but feel like he has a right to feel the way he does? He says that marriage for him isn't important and that he doesn't believe you need to marry to show you love someone. Which I suppose he has a point? A lot of people never get married because they feel all they need to prove is their love.. but for me I'm living in another country with no real support if I was left alone. Imagine if he suddenly died? I would lose everything. But I am honestly convinced that it is to protect his daughter, because of course if he died and we were married, he would want to make sure that she would be OK financially..

 

Marriage isn't even the main point here. Everything else he does is SO committed. He plans everything around me . Holidays, always including me in his plans, always planning our next adventure, treats me with respect around his friends, sends me flowers to work when I don't expect it. He is so loving and I'm scared to throw this away to move back to rainy, cold London when I have such a beautiful life here in southern France with him.

 

The problem also is that he hasn't learned any English, so I feel like I have to keep our lives separate when I go back to London. When I fly back to London to see my friends and family, I don't want to bring him with me because he can't communicate with them! When all my friends bring their boyfriends, he can't join in in all the jokes and laughter and I feel like it holds me back when I want to spend real quality time with people I care about who I don't see often. I don't know when his English skills will improve either as he plays rugby evenings a week, works full time and has a daughter. Its not like he can take English lessons like I did French lessons!! I try to teach him by conversation but its very difficult when he is tired after a long day.. This adds even more to my anxiety because I just want to be able to visit home and bring him with me but last christmas with my family, he just couldn't join in!

 

I love him to death. I just don't know.

 

Anyone else been through this?

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I have a feeling that if you told him that you were leaving France to take a job in England that he would drop to his knee immediately and ask for your hand in marriage. So be prepared for that possibility, because you will need to stand strong in your conviction of your decision. chi

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