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love the person, but not the lifestyle


whatchamacallit
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What is it about their lifestyle that you dont like?

 

I guess more info would be needed to say for sure. But keep in mind that you can never change a person.

 

You should enter into it accepting who they are and liking them for who they are above all else. Does their lifestyle somehow offend your morals or values? For me that would be a dealbreaker.

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Oh I totally know that feeling.

Sacrifice is a part of any relationship (both ways,not just one person). As long as you don't compromise yourself, your needs & especially your morals....that's when it's too far.

 

But something to think about- when it comes to different lifestyles, depending on the issue it WILL affect the possibility to furthering the relationship to marriage.

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I think that a lot of people get trapped into this problem. This happens all the time and you can see it on this board especially. I believe that each person has their own limit as to what they can take and it is up to them to decide how much that they feel they should sacrifice. I dont believe that there should be a complete sacrifice but there should be some common ground that can be established between the couple. In most situations like this people need to realize that they cannot make a selfless sacrifice while the other person does nothing, in instances like that the one who sacrifices is only prolonging their pain. They are hoping to receive tremendous returns on their investment but I believe it rarely if ever comes to fruition.

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well, without re-hashing my life over the last three years and keeping this short, I am in love with someone who is 11 years younger than me, has two young children, while mine are grown, and there's not much in common as far as real life is concerned. We work together and have that in common. I love him with all my heart, but have always been relunctant to fully commit to him because of there not being a solid foundation or enough things in common. Believe me, there's lots of problems of which I won't go into. I've posted them on this forum before. It's hard to move forward when you're so in love with someone.

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Watcha, we definitely need more info.

 

One thing I can tell you (and take it to heart!) is that if it is hard drugs we're talking about, give up now and get out. An addict will NEVER change unless they themselves want to deep down. Not even incarceration for several months will prevent them from resuming the habbit. And by the way, I'm not talking about puffing on the occasional joint; I'm talking about regular cocaine/heroine/meth usage.

 

Years ago I was in a long-distance relationship with a woman who was smoking crack. It was unbeknownst to me until later on once I was already in love with her. I tried my damndest to help her get clean, but in the end it was the crack pipe that she loved most. It put me through a lot of pain and misery watching a beautiful and intelligent woman ruin herself and cause me to feel so horribly helpless. I had to say goodbye for good and have not once even looked back. I chalked it up as a lesson. I have certain criteria that must be met with any prospective mates and I do not hesitate to ask right up front about their drug usage and lifestyle.

 

Your post is too vague, though. The lifestyle that rubs you the wrong way could be anything from watching too much football to sacrificing small animals in some cult. Generally, there has to be compatibility. If your partner has different interests than you do, it is selfish to expect them to change what it is they enjoy doing. If it is something dangerous, illegal, or just clashes too egregiously with your core values then you probably are best finding someone else.

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I think the cliche that love is not enough is true. The "but I love him" isn't relevant to whether you like or respect the person, or whether you have compatible values. Sometimes people use the "but I love him" so that they can worship someone from afar and not have to deal with the nitty gritty of a real relationship.

 

I have certain basics when it comes to lifestyle and values that I would not give up for "love" because I cannot be in a relationship with someone whose values I do not respect.

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I think it is a scale (the degree to which an element that you don't have in your lifestyle but the partner has) combined with the cardinality of those things (the number of elements in lifestyles that are different between you and the partner). For everyone, these are of course different. I can just speak from former experiences and my own 'limits'. But then, you NEVER know how it feels to fall in love with someone with a complete different lifestyle until you do. I am just lucky that I fell in love with someone who is a lot like me lifestyle-wise.

 

Things that I would find unacceptable

*Addictions

*A history of cheating in most previous relationships

*(A past of) abuse to others (I mean bullying or physical abuse, I have been bullied myself too much to ever want to understand a bully),

*If he is sure he does not want to have children,

*Drinking regularly in the context of partying and getting drunk for fun. Also a thing I do not want to understand, I think.

 

Things that would (for me) make a relationship more difficult but would certainly NOT stop me from trying and finding out if the feelings are there

*Cheating once in the past (but depending on his explanation)

*Long distance (been there, done that)

*A big gap between financial status

*A partner who is very committed to any religion and would want to raise his children that way

 

I think there is much truth to 'don't invest more than you can afford to loose'

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I appreciate all of your quick and valuable responses. I was just asking in general trying to keep my post short. I have posted my problems with this relationship in earlier posts and just didn't want to get into all the details again. For one thing it makes me sad to rehash. It's just hard to get someone out of your heart who you've been through the wringer with and love so much. But, I've been told before that just because you love someone doesn't always mean you should marry them. Sorry I'm being so evasive. I just wanted to keep it short.

 

It doesn't involve drugs or addiction. Just an age gap, life experience gap, and some values gap.

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I think the OP is quite clearly asking for others' experiences in dealing with a conflicting lifestyle in a relationship.

 

In my earlier years, I was unable to accept fatherhood, either bio, adopting or just as a role. It was too much responsibility to take on a lady's kids.

I realize some find parenthood a natural part of a relationship, but it's a definate lifestyle. For older folks, returning to that life could be daunting.

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Sometimes love isn't enough! When there is no common ground and the two of you dont have anything in common, what do you do? I had this problem in my marriage and it never got any better. We both found ourselves going in opposite directions. I cant think of one thing we both enjoyed doing together other than going out to eat ( woo hoo). I love to ride horses, he hates horses...I like soft music, he likes rap...he likes to hang with 'the boys', I like family time......

 

The age gap...ooooh, my husband was 8 years younger. People were constantly telling us there is nothing to worry about if you two love each other...WRONG! We had a lot of problems with this, we were in two different places in our lives!

 

Think before you leap on this. Ppl get tired of sacrifice, it will run it's course.

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I understand watcha. It's a tough decision. My 'list' is partially based on experiences. I have let go one special person, because of distance and the fact that our lifes couldn't blend. Another person was into drinking and not into sex. In the end, I was glad that HE broke up with me. Because I know I would have stayed with him. He knew things would never become right for me.

 

I will read your other post. I am sorry for your pain. Like I said, I think you will know inside if things are really too different.

 

Ilse

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