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I love her, but I don't think I can be happy with her.


MirrorKnight
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Sorry in advance for the long essay to follow, I am trying to provide as much context as possible. Hopefully I've structured everything in an easy way to understand.

 

Life Context

 

I am in my early 30s, male, only child. My parents are very hardworking overachievers who made huge strides for our family, going from penniless rural China to a comfortable middle-class life in the UK. Perhaps because of this, I have always been ambitious and driven to succeed, to make the most of the much easier start in life that I got thanks to my parents (compared to them).

 

Before the age of 21, I was very much a successful high achiever myself. Top grades at school, got into an elite university, you get the idea. However for reasons too complicated to get into here, I ended up dropping out of university and spiralling into a serious bout of depression as I fell away from the life of success that I had been used to, closing myself off from most of my former peers, because it was too painful to be constantly reminded of my status as a loser in contrast to their continued successes. It is harder to be a loser when all your friends are winners than just being a loser among other losers.

 

Various ups and downs followed in my 20s, but overall it was pretty grim until 2017, when I made a fresh start in a new city. That's where I met a girl, let's call her Jane.

 

Meeting Jane

 

When I met Jane, my life was sort of back on track. I wasn't successful by any means, I am still not, but at least my head was in a better place than it had been, and I was moving in the right direction. We met through a mutual hobby, and although it wasn't love at first sight, I was drawn to her lovely smile, and in time learnt what a caring, kind and wonderful human being she is. Oh, and I think she's beautiful. After a period of courtship, we officially became a couple in early 2018. Our courtship and early relationship was wonderful, carefree and happy. My only concern at that point was our age gap.

 

You see Jane is 7 years older than me, but she does not look it at all. In fact, most strangers would assume that I am older and that she is in her late 20s. There was no deception on her part, she revealed her true age when I made my feelings about her clear. At that point, I was already infatuated with her, and although her age was not ideal, I decided that if we could be happy together, and she was willing to be with me whilst I was still very much in the process of rebuilding my life, then I would be happy to spend the rest of my life with her, and accept the age gap. The main consideration I had was that because I (we) want children, we should get married and start a family as soon as we were sure about each other. However, problems arose quickly.

 

Family Drama

 

She is the middle daughter among a family of three sisters. Their parents had health and financial issues that forced the sisters to take care of their parents, more than the other way around, for almost 20 years. This robbed all three sisters of their youth and freedom, living very close-knit, co-dependent and closed off lives for years. Unbelievably, none of the three sisters have ever had a serious relationship and I was Jane’s first boyfriend in her late 30s. This is unbelievable because Jane really is beautiful and sweet, and if she put herself “out there”, guys would have queued up instantly. Unfortunately, instead of viewing me as a welcome addition to the family who could help them out, not to mention make Jane happy, her sisters (especially the eldest one) treated me as a threat to their family unity and accused Jane of trying to escape her responsibilities.

 

To give you an idea of how absurd Jane’s sisters are, they accuse her of “not doing enough” for the family, even though they all live in a house (rent free) for which Jane paid the biggest chunk of the deposit and has been solely responsible for the mortgage for over a decade. Just last year Jane was naïve enough to pay for the entirety of roof repair costs (~£2,500) and “borrow” her elder sister £8,000 even as she started to escalate things more and more. None of that money has been returned to this day.

 

We nearly broke up 3-4 months into our relationship because I could not tolerate her sisters’ psychotic interference and drama, but persisted because Jane gradually realized that appeasing their every tantrum was not working. As she began to stand up for herself and fight for our relationship however, her eldest sister responded in the only way she knew – escalation. About 5-6 months into our relationship, Jane was physically assaulted by her elder sister at home and literally driven out of the house she co-owns with her. (And still solely responsible for the mortgage.)

 

Mounting Problems

 

All of a sudden, Jane ended up living with me. Obviously, this had its benefits for our relationship, but she found the transition very difficult. She had never left home before, never had to make decisions for herself, never lived with strangers before (I own my own house, but for financial reasons, two of the rooms are rented out to lodgers), never did much of anything by herself before. In her own words, she is a very needy/clingy person who limpets onto people. Having suddenly lost her sisters, she now limpeted onto me.

 

I found this sudden change difficult too. I am an only child, I have been used to a degree of privacy and independence all my life, and used to rebel against my parents’ infringement on that basic liberty. Obviously, I enjoyed spending time with Jane, but I also liked to have my own time and space, hang out with the lads etc. Jane’s clinginess got so over the top that she would insist on going with me when I went to the pub to watch football with the lads, even though she has absolutely no interest in football, and would proceed to sit there all night barely talking to anyone.

 

She cried so much about so many different things, from lodgers (she wanted them gone), to me not spending enough time with her (we lived together!), to her issues with her sisters etc. I am mentally in a much better place now than a few years ago, but it was becoming quite overwhelming to deal with. I seriously considered breaking up with her, but I didn’t have the heart to do it, she had been kicked out of her home for me, she had lost her family for me. Even though it was not my fault (I tried 3 months of appeasement to try to resolve the issues diplomatically, but her sisters never even agreed to sit down with me to talk about anything because I was an outsider), I felt partly responsible for the troubles in her life. So, I persisted and kept on trying to take care of her to the best of my ability.

 

Long Distance Relationship

 

About one year into our relationship, I got a good job offer abroad, exactly the type of big step in the right direction I badly needed to recover from the disaster of my 20s. I feel like I have unfinished business with life and I’m determined with seize whatever opportunities come my way. I hoped that Jane would support me, even though I knew it would be hard for her. She was not supportive, she absolutely hated the idea of possibly leaving the UK, leaving her old life behind.

 

To cut a long(er) story short, I ended up leaving afterall to pursue my ambitions. I still love Jane, she truly is one of the kindest and nicest people I know. I care about her deeply and I am desperately sorry that our relationship ended up causing her so much pain. I feel obligated to take care of her by marrying her, starting a family with her etc. BUT I am deeply worried that it will not be a happy union, and I will not be happy.

 

I tried breaking up with her when I went back to the UK to see her a few weeks ago, but she cried so much that it broke my heart and I could not push through with it. But the problems that led me to the decision still exists. I feel like her misfortune and vulnerability, through no fault of my own, has somehow entrapped me with responsibility that I did not anticipate.

 

More Problems

 

In addition to her suffocating clinginess, complete aversion to change and unwillingness to support my ambitions:

 

1) Her age means if we are to start a family together, we need to do it asap. I am not really ready for a family just yet. I would like another year or two to build a more solid foundation for my career.

 

2) I would really like to have 2 children. Given Jane’s age, there is a significant risk that we won’t be able to have children at all, and at most, just the one. If I marry her, I cannot imagine divorcing her after finding out that we cannot have children. That would be even more heartless. But am I really okay with being childless forever?!

 

3) Please do not judge me too harshly for this point. But our sex life is not satisfying. Jane was a virgin before we met, she is very “vanilla” in the bedroom, uncomfortable with new positions or doing anything remotely adventurous. Whilst I do find her attractive, and she has a perfectly healthy and beautiful body by most guys’ standards (BMI 23), I have always preferred slimmer girls. No matter how much I’ve prodded her (nicely) to try to encourage her to lose a little weight, she has not been willing to take up serious exercise or weight control. I was single for most of my 20s due to my mental health, I feel like I’ve missed out on a fulfilling sex life, I’m not ready for it to be over already. Sex with Jane has become mechanical and boring. If I am honest. I want more.

 

Meeting Cathy

 

To complicate matters. Whilst I’ve been in Singapore, I’ve met a local girl, let’s call her Cathy. We hit it off straight away, connected on a fundamental level about our worldview, life goals etc. She is so beautiful and intelligent that I find it quite unbelievable that she is even interested in me. Jane is pretty and cute, but Cathy is on another level, she literally turns heads when she walks in a room, just thinking about her excites me. And for some reason I don’t fully understand, she appears genuinely interested in pursuing a relationship with me.

 

I think I will be very happy with Cathy. She is a little younger than me, she is ambitious and adventurous, but willing to play a supporting role for me in a settled family unit, willing to go wherever my career takes me, and she wants two children as well, roughly with the same plan for the future as I have. It almost feels too good to be true, and it may still be, but for now, she ticks all the boxes.

 

Thus far I have not cheated on Jane. Though I suppose some of you will think I already have, emotionally, if not physically, but I would be lying to say that I am not sorely tempted. A long distance relationship is hard enough as it is, it is doubly hard when you are unsure about your future with your partner, but now imagine you have just met nearly your ideal partner, who happens to also like you! It is taking all my willpower to not jump in a taxi and head to Cathy's apartment.

 

Questions Questions Questions!

 

But what about Jane?! How could I cheat on somebody who loves me so much? Or does she love me, or just need my company? Why should I be obligated to spend the rest of my life with somebody I might not be happy with? But Jane is so good, there is not a bad bone in her, she will be devastated! How could I hurt her so deeply and abandon her after she has already lost her family?! Do my responsibilities matter more than my happiness? Am I a bad man to want to have a more fulfilling sex life? What do I do?! I am very confused, please help me.

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The heart desires what the heart desires.

 

Jane may be the nicest lass in the world, but that doesn't mean she is suitable for you. Either you are able to accept her as she is right now (flaws included) or you are unable to, in which case I'd re-think the whole relationship.

 

By the way, does Cathy know that you are in a relationship? If she is aware that you are in one and is still interested in pursuing a relationship with you, that is a huge red flag in my honest opinion.

 

You have the right to be with someone that excites you, brings you tremendous joy and all that. I hope this works out for you!

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Between Plain Jane and Chatty Cathy, maybe neither of these women are good for you right now. Interesting choice in names, by the way. One may have been fine in your past and the other is a part of your future. You've outgrown one and you barely know the other. My advice is to end it with Jane and don't commit to Cathy. Take it easy and loosen up a little with the two-kids framework. You're sounding a bit rigid and inflexible. It's fine to have goals but leave room for other possibilities. It might be a good idea to keep working on yourself and developing your career, date a little here and there and meet more people in the meantime.

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The heart desires what the heart desires.

 

Jane may be the nicest lass in the world, but that doesn't mean she is suitable for you. Either you are able to accept her as she is right now (flaws included) or you are unable to, in which case I'd re-think the whole relationship.

 

By the way, does Cathy know that you are in a relationship? If she is aware that you are in one and is still interested in pursuing a relationship with you, that is a huge red flag in my honest opinion.

 

You have the right to be with someone that excites you, brings you tremendous joy and all that. I hope this works out for you!

 

Thanks for your advice.

 

I still feel horrible about hurting Jane so deeply. I don't think it is my fault that what happened happened, but I still feel responsible. I do love her, I just don't know if love is enough for us to be happy together.

 

As for Cathy, no she does not know about Jane, I met her through a friend after I decided to break up with Jane (but couldn't push through with it). I deliberately delayed doing anything with her until my situation with Jane cleared up, so we met back in June, but I've only been on two dates with her so far. We have been talking a lot more though.

 

Yes if you flip the situation around, I'm aware that I'm the one being deceitful to both girls, and a "huge red flag" hangs over my head actually. I'm not normally this sort of person, I consider myself very responsible and loyal, and that's why I'm trying to clear up this confusion in my head asap so I can make a decision and stick with it.

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Between Plain Jane and Chatty Cathy, maybe neither of these women are good for you right now. Interesting choice in names, by the way. One may have been fine in your past and the other is a part of your future. You've outgrown one and you barely know the other. My advice is to end it with Jane and don't commit to Cathy. Take it easy and loosen up a little with the two-kids framework. You're sounding a bit rigid and inflexible. It's fine to have goals but leave room for other possibilities. It might be a good idea to keep working on yourself and developing your career, date a little here and there and meet more people in the meantime.

 

Thanks for your feedback.

 

Maybe it's my conservative worldview and upbringing, but it feels incredibly cruel to simply say that "I have outgrown Jane". She sacrificed so much for our relationship when I was objectively not a great catch (career wise). Now I'm a bit better, how can I just abandon her?

 

As for Cathy, yes you are right, even if I end things with Jane, I am not naive enough to commit to her right away. I don't know enough about her yet, and I do question why she is interested in me when I really think she is out of my league. She might also be cleverer than me, EQ-wise, which makes me nervous about being manipulated, not that there is much she can get from me. lol

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Unfortunately it sounds like you settled for Jane but you are completely incompatible. You know what you want, but you seem unable to pull the trigger when it comes to ending things. You will lose this new love interest if you continue to deceive her that you are in another relationship.

Whilst I’ve been in Singapore, I’ve met a local girl, let’s call her Cathy. I think I will be very happy with Cathy. She is a little younger than me, she is ambitious and adventurous, but willing to play a supporting role for me in a settled family unit, willing to go wherever my career takes me, and she wants two children as well, roughly with the same plan for the future as I have.
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It's unkind to prolong a miserable situation with Jane and you're bringing misery to both of you if you're not in love with each other or can't see a future together. Singapore is a difficult country to raise a family and the dream to leave is fairly prominent among locals. You're an immigrant and expat with roots in Asia and an education abroad.

 

Your profile fits what most people are looking for in an ideal partner with ties outside the country. I'd encourage you to stay awhile longer in Singapore and understand the psychology of the locals and learn more about its history, laws, real estate and healthcare system. You will understand her better. Whether or not her eq is high or not may not matter. Gauge what's in a person's heart and understand that person's hardwiring and psychology before committing to them. It takes time to develop a relationship. I'm not unfamiliar with conservative views. Don't be afraid to start your life over on a different note.

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It's unkind to prolong a miserable situation with Jane and you're bringing misery to both of you if you're not in love with each other or can't see a future together. Singapore is a difficult country to raise a family and the dream to leave is fairly prominent among locals. You're an immigrant and expat with roots in Asia and an education abroad.

 

Your profile fits what most people are looking for in an ideal partner with ties outside the country. I'd encourage you to stay awhile longer in Singapore and understand the psychology of the locals and learn more about its history, laws, real estate and healthcare system. You will understand her better. Whether or not her eq is high or not may not matter. Gauge what's in a person's heart and understand that person's hardwiring and psychology before committing to them. It takes time to develop a relationship. I'm not unfamiliar with conservative views. Don't be afraid to start your life over on a different note.

 

This.

 

Give Jane the respect she deserves and cut things off with her. Don't lead her on any more. Then, after you've done some soul-searching, see if Cathy is interested. But, if you are not interested in her, don't pursue it. You seem to want a very specific family portrait; that might be hard to find. Please don't use a "spot filler" in the meantime.

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It's not that you outgrew Jane. It's that you grew to the point that you could recognize that the two of you aren't a great fit. Sometimes that revelation comes sooner, sometimes not so quickly. Sometimes you notice it early on - but the allowing yourself to believe that you aren't compatible (perhaps because you don't want to hurt someone or find yourself alone again) is what takes time.

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It's not that you outgrew Jane. It's that you grew to the point that you could recognize that the two of you aren't a great fit. Sometimes that revelation comes sooner, sometimes not so quickly. Sometimes you notice it early on - but the allowing yourself to believe that you aren't compatible (perhaps because you don't want to hurt someone or find yourself alone again) is what takes time.

And I think having met Cathy, it further reinforces your need to end it with Jane. Not that Cathy is the right person for you, but rather you've sensed this all along. This comparison and experience just reinforces it.

 

As far as Cathy, I understand feeling responsible but this family dynamic existed long before you came alone and will continue to carry on in your absence. As challenging as it may be, this might be what Jane needs to get a handle on her own life and make difficult some changes. It won't happen while in a relationship with you. Sometimes things need to get worse before they get better.

 

Based on everything you've described, though Jane seems like a lovely person, she grew up in a highly dysfunctional atmosphere. She brings that into her relationships because it's all she knows. I'd be very concerned starting a family with her.

 

But what ever you decide, do not marry out of obligation or guilt.

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I think you should be single for a good while.

You aren't ready for serious, you want to sow your oats, but you are artificially bound by all these ideas you have of how relationships are supposed to be.

I think with Cathy it's just as simple as you find her so hot and she gets your motor running, and now you are piling up ideas into who she is based on basically wanting to have sex with her.

So be single, have sex with who you want, stop with this obligation bs and ideas of incorporating this new woman into your life. No talk of babies and where shed move , for God sake. Be really careful not to get her knocked up.

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It sounds like you've outgrown your relationship with Jane and are only staying with her out of guilt - which isn't fair to either of you. I cannot see how you can even fathom the thought of staying with and marrying Jane out of guilt (and having children with her). This would be a surefire way to guarantee a lifetime of unhappiness, for not only the both of you, but your children, too (if you had any). Don't do it.

 

I have a question - how do you think Jane would feel if she knew you were staying with her out of guilt? How would you feel if someone was only staying with you out of guilt? I'd be furious. Would it suck that the person I was with wanted to break up with me? Of course. But I'd rather have them end things than stay with me out of guilt, pity or obligation.

 

Let her go so she can find someone who doesn't question whether they want to be with her, and so you can be free to do what you want - whether it means pursuing things with Cathy, or not.

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Thanks for your advice.

 

I still feel horrible about hurting Jane so deeply. I don't think it is my fault that what happened happened, but I still feel responsible. I do love her, I just don't know if love is enough for us to be happy together.

 

As for Cathy, no she does not know about Jane, I met her through a friend after I decided to break up with Jane (but couldn't push through with it). I deliberately delayed doing anything with her until my situation with Jane cleared up, so we met back in June, but I've only been on two dates with her so far. We have been talking a lot more though.

 

Yes if you flip the situation around, I'm aware that I'm the one being deceitful to both girls, and a "huge red flag" hangs over my head actually. I'm not normally this sort of person, I consider myself very responsible and loyal, and that's why I'm trying to clear up this confusion in my head asap so I can make a decision and stick with it.

 

You're welcome.

 

It's beautiful to love someone with all your heart, but that doesn't make them a suitable partner. You need someone that meshes with you (as well as your lifestyle), shares your values and has flaws that you can live with. Take some time to reflect on what you truly desire.

 

At the moment I feel that what you see in (or you have highlighted about) Cathy is merely a reflection of what you wish Jane was. Nothing more. That's why, at present, Cathy is so interesting to you.

 

Anyhow, you already know what you need to do.

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i only skimmed thru your stuff so take this with a grain of salt.

1. your love for somebody can't be about what they can provide to you (how many kids but what time at what age,e tc.) it needs to be about what you are together and how happy you are together. All that other stuff is not about relatoinship - it's about agenda. And agenda's always f up relationships.

 

2. as i said.. its about how happy you are together with nothing else factoring in (like babies, timing, years, etc.) so you have to make sure you are doing what is best and makes you happiest and what situation is conducive to that and does not combat that.

 

3. don't cheat.. ever. if you're truly done with person A, then set them free and let them know and DO NOT betray them. Take care o business before you start self-fulfilling in other areas. You're an adult. ACT LIKE ONE so you'll be treated and respected like one in the future. Guarantee you.. if Person B realizes you cheated on Person A to be with her - she'll see you as a cheater and devalue you and you just screwed yourself.

 

4. You owe nothign to other people, you owe only to yourself. That being said, don't be a and mislead or do anythign to hurt other people. Sack up and do the right thing and be an adult (as i said before).

 

good luck on your decision.

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Thanks to everyone above for your input. I am taking my time to digest it. Almost everything everyone has said makes perfect sense, but I am just finding it very difficult to convince myself that knowingly hurting Jane so deeply would be the right thing to do...

 

I have a question - how do you think Jane would feel if she knew you were staying with her out of guilt? How would you feel if someone was only staying with you out of guilt? I'd be furious. Would it suck that the person I was with wanted to break up with me? Of course. But I'd rather have them end things than stay with me out of guilt, pity or obligation.

 

Let her go so she can find someone who doesn't question whether they want to be with her, and so you can be free to do what you want - whether it means pursuing things with Cathy, or not.

 

To answer your question specifically Milly... When I last tried to break up with her on my last visit to the UK, I tried to frame it as nicely as possible, and argued that, whilst I loved her, I don't feel ready to take care of her in the way she needs. (My own mental health fragility, my "ambition baggage" and wanderlust). She cried for two days and two nights, repeating "why you do this?! ...don't do this!" ... it was the most heartbreaking thing I have experienced in my life.

 

If she knew I was staying with her out of guilt? I think she would be desperately upset and sad about it... but I am not sure if she would then just willingly let me go. She has never been independent in her whole life, I fear it is too late for her to gain that independence now.

 

She is in her late 30s, if she were 10 years younger, I would not feel so bad about abandoning her, because then she is still young, she has time to recover and find somebody more compatible than me. But at this point, her biological clock is ticking down to 0, she has no experience of dating aside from me, I worry she would become very depressed and reclusive, never dating again, and even more timid and frightened of the big wide world than now. I feel like I would be ruining her future happiness...

 

I don't know, my sense of obligation and responsibility seems to be a little unusual based on the advice on this forum. I wonder if there is some cultural difference here, or just the conservatism of my upbringing. My parents have met Jane, they really like her too, especially my Mum. They think that basically, she has no moral failings or character faults, and since I chose her (and consummated our relationship), I am responsible for her well being. I can only break up with her if she "accepts it", because if not, "what happens if she does something stupid".

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She has never been independent in her whole life, I fear it is too late for her to gain that independence now.
It's never too late to gain independence, unless you're physically too frail to exist without a carer, or lack the mental capacity to do so (for example, someone with dementia or a severe and enduring mental illness).

 

Jane is in her 30's, an attractive woman with an income, and you shouldn't be looking to take care of another adult as if she was a completely incompetent kid. You are not responsible for her wellbeing; she's responsible for her own actions and choices, and it could be that this will be the push that she needs to break free of her oppressive past. You have done your best to be kind about ending the relationship, but at the moment it's not doing either of you any good to stay together. You will end up feeling trapped, and she will end up being more and more demanding as she senses your disengagement.

 

Forget the other lady for now. You need to establish your own sense of self, with healthy and appropriate boundaries independent of those of your parents, before you embark on any new relationships. And you've got enough on your plate with your own conflicted emotions right now.

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I definitely do think some of the sense of obligation is due to wider cultural and family beliefs.

Basically, this idea that it is horrifically tragic for a woman to not be getting married and having children is yes usually indicative of a very conservative belief system.

I grew up around some very conservative people, not my family but much of the community around us. I'm familiar with this line of thinking.

 

Perhaps it's time to question it. Not because it 'is wrong' but because when people grew up strongly believing such as you do around relationships and obligations, there is often a lot of reaction in choices. A bit like how a lot of people react and vote against who they don't want instead of who they actually do, do to forces in their belief systems they have working as a tight elastic in their mind.

You have tight elastic of " oh my god, how terrible for Jane to not have a man now, I can't destroy that, I can't live with destroying that life!!" is really more about you reacting to your beliefs too, not the actual state of things now what might be best truly for both of your futures.

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MirrorKnight, we only grow when challenged. In other words, Jane will learn how to cope with the difficulties of life. It might take her some time and it might be difficult for her at first. But she will learn how to cope and how to be independent. She just needs to be given a chance.

 

But, you know what, I'm not sure that the feeling of being responsible for her well-being is the reason or sole reason you are staying with Jane. I find it's easier to lie in our comfort zone than to gamble everything we've got for uncertainty.

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I don't feel ready to take care of her in the way she needs. (My own mental health fragility, my "ambition baggage" and wanderlust). She cried for two days and two nights, repeating "why you do this?! ...don't do this!" ... it was the most heartbreaking thing I have experienced in my life.

 

But see... you are doing the classic "i hope she breaks up with me so i don't have to". "i am not good enough for you, you deserve someone better. I can'tbe what you want " And of course the other person cries "BUT YOU ARE!!" You can't passively break up and hope she gets the hint. you have to be firm. "I have to tell you. I love you, but have decided that i can't do this long term. I have found myself thinking about other women and i know if this was the right relationship or i was ready for a long term commitment, i wouldn't be."

 

or "i decided that i don't want to marry you,"

 

Or something else. But none of this "i can't be what you need me to be" because that implies that if she shifts her needs, she keeps you.

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Jane doesn't physically have anywhere to go despite paying the mortgage on her house. He might have to fly back to the UK to help her re-situate herself or at the very least have a word with her family or assist her if they're hostile and the outcome might be less than savoury if he's delivering her back to her dysfunctional family. There's a living situation issue with Jane and her finances are tied up. With a new job, going back to the UK might not be feasible until he can work out some time off to go back and tie up loose ends.

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Jane doesn't physically have anywhere to go despite paying the mortgage on her house. He might have to fly back to the UK to help her re-situate herself or at the very least have a word with her family or assist her if they're hostile and the outcome might be less than savoury if he's delivering her back to her dysfunctional family. There's a living situation issue with Jane and her finances are tied up. With a new job, going back to the UK might not be feasible until he can work out some time off to go back and tie up loose ends.

 

Maybe i misread some of it, then. I thought he was living elsewhere and she was still in the UK - so she is living at HIS place in the UK?

Honestly if he is working abroad and doesn't go back to the UK except to see her, maybe an amicable split where she pays rent at his place for awhile so she can get situated can be a workable situation. Its not his fault she doesn't have boundaries with her family or if she is paying their bills and not living with them. Its not his concern if she can't grow a backbone - there are roommate situations she can enter into and cut off the family gravy train

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Maybe i misread some of it, then. I thought he was living elsewhere and she was still in the UK - so she is living at HIS place in the UK?

Honestly if he is working abroad and doesn't go back to the UK except to see her, maybe an amicable split where she pays rent at his place for awhile so she can get situated can be a workable situation. Its not his fault she doesn't have boundaries with her family or if she is paying their bills and not living with them. Its not his concern if she can't grow a backbone - there are roommate situations she can enter into and cut off the family gravy train

 

These are really great ideas and I agree with you. I think it's hard on him because they've been together awhile and culturally, once broken in this way or once a path starts where there's cohabitation or as he's put it in another thread, "consummation" of a relationship, it's difficult to backtrack. I believe there's some kind of honour involved. It's difficult to describe especially if it appears alien/strange or different to other people who aren't bound by the same norms.

 

I don't think existing this way indefinitely is possible but I believe it buys him time to figure things out on his end while he's in Singapore. He's mentioned that Jane lives at his house in another thread. The idea about rental or a rental contribution is a great idea if it didn't carry some insult/emotional difficulty (alluded to above regarding honour) perhaps or create more of a financial strain on her as she is currently still paying the mortgage on her own home which she does not live in.

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Maybe i misread some of it, then. I thought he was living elsewhere and she was still in the UK - so she is living at HIS place in the UK?

 

Yes, I am working in Singapore. Jane lives and works in the UK. After she got assaulted by her elder sister and driven out of her own house that she co-owns with that sister, she moved in with me, and still lives in my house now.

 

maybe an amicable split where she pays rent at his place for awhile so she can get situated can be a workable situation. Its not his fault she doesn't have boundaries with her family or if she is paying their bills and not living with them. Its not his concern if she can't grow a backbone - there are roommate situations she can enter into and cut off the family gravy train

 

Whether we split or not, I have encouraged her to cut off the gravy train so to speak and sell off her share of the house. The complicating factor is the fact that her mother also lives at the house with her sisters. Her elder sister is abusive to their mother too because she sided with Jane in the drama from the beginning, and said she would kick out their mother too if she had full ownership of the house. (What a horrible woman, right?) Despite paying only 5-10% towards the cost of the house (in the initial deposit) so far, Jane's sister thus far is not even willing to pay Jane 50% for her share of the house (various crazy BS reasons I don't want to go into).

 

Jane has a complete aversion to conflict, so if I abandoned her completely, she will most likely get completely screwed over in whatever settlement they arrive at. At this point, I doubt she will ever get the £9,250 she is owed back, and I suspect she is going to need a good lawyer to get her fair share for her own house.

 

Assuming she can get a reasonable chunk of change for her share, I am encouraging her to use it as a deposit to buy a new house/apartment herself, one that she can afford with just her own income, because although I currently have a decent job and earn more than her, my career has been very patchy and my job stability is poor. If we stay together, we can live at her new place (she doesn't like mine) and we can use my house as a rental property. If we do not stay together, she should be able to pay off her new mortgage by herself.

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I think it's hard on him because they've been together awhile and culturally, once broken in this way or once a path starts where there's cohabitation or as he's put it in another thread, "consummation" of a relationship, it's difficult to backtrack. I believe there's some kind of honour involved. It's difficult to describe especially if it appears alien/strange or different to other people who aren't bound by the same norms.

 

I am Chinese and my parents are certainly on the conservative end of the scale, but it is not a simple cultural issue. Due to the Communist revolution, and especially the Cultural Revolution in the 60s and 70s, traditional Chinese culture has been significantly diluted and eroded in mainland China. Modern China is surprisingly feminist and misogynist all at the same time, if we try to apply Western labels on Chinese societal attitudes.

 

What that means is that young Chinese people do date, have sex, break up, etc without the sort of social stigma that my parents’ generation would have experienced, though they are generally still more conservative than the UK. A lot of marriages end in divorce, a lot of women end up not marrying at all, because a lot of Chinese women are well educated high earners who do not want to settle for a man with lower social status or economic assets, but they might not be young or pretty enough to land a man of equal or higher status and economic circumstances.

 

Anyway in my case, traditional Chinese culture does play a part, Jane and all her sisters were born in the UK, but her Mum and Dad are from Hong Kong, so the level of commitment and sacrifice the sisters made in the care of their parents is probably grounded in traditional Confucian ideals of filial piety. Unfortunately, they took it to an excessive degree and it robbed all three sisters of their youth and independence, and caused a lot of internalized resentment that has been triggered and unleashed by the fact that Jane got a boyfriend, which was interpreted as an attempt to escape her responsibilities and obligations.

 

From my perspective, some traditional Chinese values probably does influence my thoughts regarding Jane. (I took her virginity, so she is my woman now, my responsibility). But beyond that, I do care about her, I do love her. I have prided myself on generally behaving as a morally upright and decent human being. Jane gave me a chance when I did not have much. When I lost my job just a month into our relationship, she did not abandon me or blame me, but just gave me comfort and encouragement. So how can I abandon her now that I have a decent job and improving career? Whilst I am not at fault for her issues at home, I am the indirect cause, or trigger, so I would feel immensely guilty if I abandoned her after she had just lost the only home she has known her entire life because of me.

 

If she were younger, she would have time to find somebody else more suitable. But if I abandoned her, given her age, it is very unlikely she will ever have her own children. She is so shy (I think she has social anxiety) that it is a miracle that she ever let me into her life. If she was more independent and adaptable, she would be able to take care of herself and move on. But she is terrified of change and so dependent on me emotionally... Just earlier I told her that I have some business dinner engagements this weekend, so will not be able to video call her at our usual time until Sunday. She started to cry straight away. *sigh*

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Her elder sister is abusive to their mother too because she sided with Jane in the drama from the beginning, and said she would kick out their mother too if she had full ownership of the house. (What a horrible woman, right?)

 

So what? So Jane moves out and get a place with her mom. Or mom figures out another situation.

 

(I took her virginity, so she is my woman now, my responsibility).

 

She is 7 years older than you. If you love her and the only reason you don't want to be with her is the ability to have children, then what about marrying and adopting kids? No guarantee you will meet, fall in love with and marry a woman 7 years younger than Jane and be ready for kids when that 7 years is up and she is the same age as Jane. I am not asking you to settle, but you knew she was older when you met her. And to tell her now you want to break up because you want a younger woman -- well that's something you knew from the word go. So make a decision, and it can't be simply about kids because you made that bed when you "took her virginity, so she is my woman" with an older woman.

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