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At a crossroads...


gerbs717

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I could use some advice. My girlfriend and I have been together for three and a half years and have lived together almost two years (since June of 2018). We are not yet engaged due to a variety of reasons, mostly my hesitation. I am 39 and will turn 40 in July. She turned 39 in January. With our ages, we should be married or at least engaged by now. I realized that, especially since she wants children. She and I have never been married before, and I was her first real boyfriend when we met (she was 35 then).

 

There is quite a bit of building animosity and tension from her. She wants to be engaged, and for good reason is concerned about being able to get pregnant after we are engaged, then married. I have become too comfortable in the relationship. We do love each other and are best friends. We both work long hours and have a lot in common. But there are a few things I cannot get past to take that next step. In March of 2019 we went and looked at engagement rings, I purchased one and have had it since July.

 

One other thing I did not mention is that we do not sleep together. When I had moved in with her, we had never spent the night at her house. We had spend the night at my place many time and at hotels, etc. We have a completely different taste in blankets, hot/cold in bed. She's always freezing, I am always hot. I have tried to sleep in there, but often I lie awake until 3 or 4am. We do have a spare bedroom where I sleep, and I am able to sleep normally in there. She is always asking me "when are we going to sleep together" or is upset why we aren't sleeping together, and telling me how weird it is. I know it is weird, and not normal. But I am unable to fall asleep, and when I stay up it keeps her up. I work long hours and I need to be able to get at least some sleep at night. This has been a major point of contention for us. Usually once a month or so we try again, and maybe I'll fall asleep and some nights I can't. I think this could be the cause of some of our intimacy problems. I never had a problem sleeping in bed overnight with a previous long term girlfriend. But, this is one more thing that she is on me about constantly and I feel awful that I can't fall asleep and be with her at night.

There are really three major things I cannot get past. The first is our religious backgrounds. She is Jewish and I am Christian. Obviously we knew this from day one and we were both accepting of this. But over the past few years it keeps becoming more obvious that she won't budge. I agreed a while back that if we were to have children I was fine raising them Jewish. This made her happy, but I also shared that I do not want to give up my upbringing. Since then, as we have discussed other things such as a wedding, it becomes more and more apparent that she won't work with me on this. For example, I was discussing what a wedding would look like, and she immediately stopped me and said "of course it has to be at night after sundown and we have to have a rabbi marry us, otherwise my parents won't go for that." What about what I want? I've never been to a nighttime wedding? That would be very odd for my family. I mentioned celebrating Christmas and how much I love that, and she said we could never have a Christmas tree because it would confuse our children. And, our child has to have a certain name because of tradition. What if I don't want to follow that tradition? There have been other things too, it just worries me that it will be all or nothing. You would think that in 3.5 years we would have worked this out but we haven't.

 

The other concern I have is our physical relationship. I was her first sexual partner, and I think probably her first kiss, all occurring at age 35 for her. I've been in relationships and have experience, and I wanted to go slowly so she would enjoy that part of our time together. After all the time we have been together, she does not have interest in sex and is unable to climax. When we are together in that way, it feels like she only does it for me. There is no mutual pleasure, it feels like only a release for me. We have tried books and even went to a sex therapist and a OB/GYN that specializes in dysfunction. My girlfriend takes 14-15 pills daily for migraine headaches, and I have often mentioned that I think it is all of the medication she takes that could cause the problem. We still have made no progress in the physical area and it has been very frustrating. I want to feel "wanted" like she needs me physically. She dresses very conservatively, and I've even asked if she would wear something fun, just to spice things up. She doesn't like to wear shorts, and wears long pants and sweaters even in the summertime. She doesn't masturbate or really even "think" sexually. This may seem petty, but I want to see her look good, she could be so sexy if she wanted to be. I am afraid she just isn't wired that way, especially at age 39.

 

My final major concern is her happiness. We do a lot for each other, especially now that we live together. I want to make her happy, and it is very difficult. She has a high stress job and works long hours. I do as well. She is always coming home upset about something, which I understand. I try to comfort her and help when I can. Maybe I am more of an optimistic person, but it scares me that her anxiety and unhappiness will never change. It swings back and forth. When things are really good with us, they're great. When she's stressed, it's not good at all.

 

I completely understand why she is pressuring me to get engaged as soon as possible. We should be, and that is 100% on me. I should have left with my concerns a year ago. But I love her, and she and I have so much invested. This week she found out she is a carrier for the BRCA 1 gene which can lead to breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer. She became unglued, saying that we should be married now so we can have children before she has to have a mastectomy and a hysterectomy. This makes me feel awful, because I think I have ruined her window to have children. She is at her wits end and wants a decision from me right now. I told her my concerns, and she doesn't share the concerns with me.

 

I know that this situation is my fault and that I have not made good choices along the way. However, I am in this situation. Does anyone have some advice to help me, or do I need to just propose so we can move things along. Thank you in advance!

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My suggestion is not the quick answer it seems you’re looking for. You could do that with a coin flip though.

 

Personally, I think you should look into whether or not you are co-dependent. A good book to check out might be “Codependent No More” by Melody Beattie.

 

I could give you advice but it would be based on MY relationship preferences, which don’t necessarily align with yours... Dude, I am totally guessing and oversimplifying here but to me it sounds like this is not a balanced, fulfilling relationship for you, but you feel responsible for this woman’s happiness so to leave would therefore be dishonorable. Am I way off base? Is there any truth to my guess?

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I could use some advice. My girlfriend and I have been together for three and a half years and have lived together almost two years (since June of 2018). We are not yet engaged due to a variety of reasons, mostly my hesitation. I am 39 and will turn 40 in July. She turned 39 in January. With our ages, we should be married or at least engaged by now. I realized that, especially since she wants children. She and I have never been married before, and I was her first real boyfriend when we met (she was 35 then).

 

There is quite a bit of building animosity and tension from her. She wants to be engaged, and for good reason is concerned about being able to get pregnant after we are engaged, then married. I have become too comfortable in the relationship. We do love each other and are best friends. We both work long hours and have a lot in common. But there are a few things I cannot get past to take that next step. In March of 2019 we went and looked at engagement rings, I purchased one and have had it since July.

 

One other thing I did not mention is that we do not sleep together. When I had moved in with her, we had never spent the night at her house. We had spend the night at my place many time and at hotels, etc. We have a completely different taste in blankets, hot/cold in bed. She's always freezing, I am always hot. I have tried to sleep in there, but often I lie awake until 3 or 4am. We do have a spare bedroom where I sleep, and I am able to sleep normally in there. She is always asking me "when are we going to sleep together" or is upset why we aren't sleeping together, and telling me how weird it is. I know it is weird, and not normal. But I am unable to fall asleep, and when I stay up it keeps her up. I work long hours and I need to be able to get at least some sleep at night. This has been a major point of contention for us. Usually once a month or so we try again, and maybe I'll fall asleep and some nights I can't. I think this could be the cause of some of our intimacy problems. I never had a problem sleeping in bed overnight with a previous long term girlfriend. But, this is one more thing that she is on me about constantly and I feel awful that I can't fall asleep and be with her at night.

There are really three major things I cannot get past. The first is our religious backgrounds. She is Jewish and I am Christian. Obviously we knew this from day one and we were both accepting of this. But over the past few years it keeps becoming more obvious that she won't budge. I agreed a while back that if we were to have children I was fine raising them Jewish. This made her happy, but I also shared that I do not want to give up my upbringing. Since then, as we have discussed other things such as a wedding, it becomes more and more apparent that she won't work with me on this. For example, I was discussing what a wedding would look like, and she immediately stopped me and said "of course it has to be at night after sundown and we have to have a rabbi marry us, otherwise my parents won't go for that." What about what I want? I've never been to a nighttime wedding? That would be very odd for my family. I mentioned celebrating Christmas and how much I love that, and she said we could never have a Christmas tree because it would confuse our children. And, our child has to have a certain name because of tradition. What if I don't want to follow that tradition? There have been other things too, it just worries me that it will be all or nothing. You would think that in 3.5 years we would have worked this out but we haven't.

 

The other concern I have is our physical relationship. I was her first sexual partner, and I think probably her first kiss, all occurring at age 35 for her. I've been in relationships and have experience, and I wanted to go slowly so she would enjoy that part of our time together. After all the time we have been together, she does not have interest in sex and is unable to climax. When we are together in that way, it feels like she only does it for me. There is no mutual pleasure, it feels like only a release for me. We have tried books and even went to a sex therapist and a OB/GYN that specializes in dysfunction. My girlfriend takes 14-15 pills daily for migraine headaches, and I have often mentioned that I think it is all of the medication she takes that could cause the problem. We still have made no progress in the physical area and it has been very frustrating. I want to feel "wanted" like she needs me physically. She dresses very conservatively, and I've even asked if she would wear something fun, just to spice things up. She doesn't like to wear shorts, and wears long pants and sweaters even in the summertime. She doesn't masturbate or really even "think" sexually. This may seem petty, but I want to see her look good, she could be so sexy if she wanted to be. I am afraid she just isn't wired that way, especially at age 39.

 

My final major concern is her happiness. We do a lot for each other, especially now that we live together. I want to make her happy, and it is very difficult. She has a high stress job and works long hours. I do as well. She is always coming home upset about something, which I understand. I try to comfort her and help when I can. Maybe I am more of an optimistic person, but it scares me that her anxiety and unhappiness will never change. It swings back and forth. When things are really good with us, they're great. When she's stressed, it's not good at all.

 

I completely understand why she is pressuring me to get engaged as soon as possible. We should be, and that is 100% on me. I should have left with my concerns a year ago. But I love her, and she and I have so much invested. This week she found out she is a carrier for the BRCA 1 gene which can lead to breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer. She became unglued, saying that we should be married now so we can have children before she has to have a mastectomy and a hysterectomy. This makes me feel awful, because I think I have ruined her window to have children. She is at her wits end and wants a decision from me right now. I told her my concerns, and she doesn't share the concerns with me.

 

I know that this situation is my fault and that I have not made good choices along the way. However, I am in this situation. Does anyone have some advice to help me, or do I need to just propose so we can move things along. Thank you in advance!

This is not all your fault. You're both adults. She owns half of the relationship and 100% of her choices. If you marry her out of guilt, you're both doomed.

 

The concerns you have are real concerns. Yoy should take them to her and ask for her help in mapping out the compromises.

 

If you can't compromise on raising the children and agree to stick to it, do not bring a child into this mess.

 

Only you can decide what deal breakers are yours. Figure that out for yourself. This is your life.

 

Faith, physical needs and personality all major component of compatibilty. You simply ignored all of these for years! What are you doing?

 

Are you really willing to be an observer of your own life, completely sacrificing your own needs to live out her dreams?

 

Sorry to be so blunt, but you're basically sleep walking through your whole life. How is any of this going to make you happy?

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Though these are some challenging hurdles, I can't help but think if your heart was in it you'd be willing compromise.

Any new relationship (for me) is a sleep arrangement adjustment. There is always a number of sleepless nights when not accustomed to your partner in your bed and their preferences. But if it's a priority to you, you make it work. Hot/cold? She gets another blanket on her side. The fact that you don't seem to want to compromise or work on it is telling.

 

I get it. I am a light sleeper, that also works long hours. But I love my guy enough to work at it until we got it right. It took some time but I am accustomed to it now. You'll never get there if you insist on being in a different room.

 

The religion is a big thing. I found it interesting that when you first mentioned the differences, you said you were both ok with it. Now, with the ring in drawer it's the sticking point. I know mixed religion couples that honor both sides and feel that their children experiencing both enriches their life.

I won't touch the night time wedding. . really?

 

Her not climaxing? It could very well be the meds. Has she been reevaluated? For that matter, google her meds and see if its a side effect. It could be simple dr appt. . . IF it's important to the both of you, that is.

 

Or could it be she's feels unwanted because her boyfriend refuses to share a bed with her?

Her stressful job? Maybe if her home life felt safe and secure, it would help her balance her work life.

 

I am not trying to beat up on you, here.

 

I just wanted to give you some things to consider. It clearly appears you've built a case against this relationship. Unless you change the way you look at this, you may as well end it. Your focus is on all the negative and everything that isn't working. but I just don't see what either of you have contributed to this in order to make it successful and fulfilling.

 

You have some challenges, no doubt. But you have to want it work. I just don't see that here.

Compatibility makes things easier but any good relationship takes work.

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My buddy Jill and her hubs after 7 years of dating in their late 30's, now she's 42, and he's 50. Took years to work out the kinks. From sharing a room - they just had a shared room, and separate rooms - but works for them. But the religion thing - you either agree or she becomes a christmas tree jew, or you don't. Tons of my jewish friends have christmas trees! And the sex, sorry - you've tried it all, and no change. I just feel you don't want to get married because she's not the right person for you.

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Obviously these things should have been discussed thoroughly and thought about when you both decided to live together. Living together is a test run, you two had plenty of time to try and work things out, but there is no compromising. You have known this for awhile...now you have wasted 3 years. Cut it off completely and move on.

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Obviously these things should have been discussed thoroughly and thought about when you both decided to live together. Living together is a test run, you two had plenty of time to try and work things out, but there is no compromising. You have known this for awhile...now you have wasted 3 years. Cut it off completely and move on.

 

Don't mistake sunk costs as a good reason to stay together and to have children.

 

Move on!

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Very sorry to hear this. Unfortunately there are so many incompatibilities it's like being roommates. Right now, it may somewhat work but in time resentment will grow. Just coasting along like this is giving her the impression that there is a future, even though you know in your heart that there isn't. Slowly but surely plan to move out. When you are able be kind and set each other free from this.

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You have serious and 100% legitimate reason for ending this yesterday, so stop being lazy and selfish and pull the trigger already. Enough is enough. No, you are not responsible for leading her on or taking years away from her. She chose not to get into any relationship until way into her middle 30's. She chooses to refuse to compromise on literally everything. You know what relationships are built on? Compromise. What you have with her is her way or the highway. You are totally right to be scare to death to commit to that, because that's pretty much a death sentence to you as a person. Your needs and beliefs are irrelevant, it's all about her, her family, her religion and what she wants - that's some serious bs on her part.

 

Please stop wasting her time and yours and dump her already.

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Yes you have screwed up by staying on. You should have left after the second year. However two wrongs don't make a right. You seriously need to stop wasting even more of her time and break up asap. Your sex life is bad, you don't agree on how to raise kids and her character temperament gets you down. These are glaring incompatibilities imo. Stop being a coward and stop wasting even more of her time. She should have left herself after year 2 as the signs were there so she does have her share of responsibility in this fiasco. However, imo your responsibility is somewhat greater because you are the one who has had previous relationship experience in order to know better. No, you are not to blame if she ends up not having children. Even if you had broken up earlier, there is no telling whether she would have found someone given her previous (absent) relationship record. However, you should have broken up with her earlier given the incompatibilities you identified.

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