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The father of my children

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I am not married to the father of my children, yet we are still involved after 14 years. Despite what used to be a strong physical attraction between us, and the sense that we would be parents together, I have felt he was not the best thing for me from the start. The problem is I have not had more than maybe 2 or 3 quality relationships in my life--my family was very disfunctional. I have struggled up out of that all my life. My children--my love for them and theirs for me has countered my previous fear/conviction that I am not lovable. I am now a teacher and my students also show me that they value me. I fear I will never break out of this unsatisfying relationship. I know we watch movies that show great relationships with our "soul mates" but my past experience has shown me that the odds of my finding a kindred soul are like those of playing the lottery--and I know that many people live in less than ideal circumstances so that I hardly feel I have the right to be so unhappy. I'm feeling very down. Very lonely. I just feel there is no one to turn to and I have been feeling that way for a long time.

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You have not provided much information about your relationship and why you feel he is not the best for you so it is hard for me to comment on that. However, what I will say is that while it is always nice and to get validation from others, the best person to get validation from is ourselves. What do you do in your spare time that makes you feel happy and proud of yourself? What are your strengths. Perhaps start building on your strengths, doing things that interest you and feeling proud of who you are as a person and your accomplishments. Once you are happy within yourself, you might see your relationship in a whole new light.

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When you feel very lonely while in a relationship with someone else, that usually means the two of your are not communicating and/or connecting much, or the relationship has grown apart to the point that it almost feels like you are ships passing in the night rather than a real couple.


since you have invested 14 years, maybe you should consider couples or individual counseling, to see if you can again re-establish a connection, or decide that you are so far apart, that it is better to part than to stay together...


i sense though that doing nothing about this really isn't an option for you... you need to do something, whether that is start talking with your partner and trying to communicate your disastisfaction and ways to revive your bond together, or else to start attending counseling to uncover what is at the base of your sense of boredom or disconnection.

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Thanks for responding. I am 41 and fairly accomplished, having 2 bachelor's degrees--one in Fine Arts and one in Social Studies, a Master's degree in Education Administration and a Administrative Credential, should I care to be a principal in the future. I also have many personal interests, including traveling abroad with my students and my sons. We recently spent 12 days in Italy--I actually stood in front of Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Teresa, a long held dream of mine. However, I do feel a bit trapped and stiffled here in suburbia...


It is not for lack of personal development that I am unhappy with him. He has personal problems that he has yet to deal with and cannot hold a job because he is arrogant and will not pay his dues--and yet, he does not treat me as his equal. He wants to dominate, yet he is not, in my eyes, fulfilling his obligation as a man--"head of the household," if you will. Plus, I'm not one to be dominated.


When we met, we had a physical attraction that, well, took us both by surprise. I thought I loved him--but looking back, It was more of an idealization. Because I always felt he looked down on me as less intelligent or socially/culturally sophisticated as he was, I strived to develop myself--I was also motivated to provide for my sons. In the process, my feelings changed because I began to see him as he really was and to see myself in a more accurate light. Although I keep my mouth shut much of the time and focus on my children and my own pursuits, I am irritated with practicaly everything about him. He does not work. He lives between this house and his mother's and takes $2K a month from a rich female relative. When she says "jump!" he says "how high?" Now, counter that with the fact that between the 2 of us, we are always there for our children, both of whom are uber-achievers at school and fairly well-adjusted. He signs them up and takes them to soccer practice, cooks alot, does laundry and does things like take the boys and the dogs to the 'dog park' on Sundays.


Sex is okay, but I could live without it. He has let himself go and I'm just not attracted--which doesn't mean that after 14 years he doesn't know what I like. Physical is okay, while emotional/mental is not. I feel so fragmented in this relationship. I don't know if you have kids or were torn apart by your parents divorce like I was, but these are factors for me.


Anyway, there's the 'more details' you seemed to be asking for. Take Care and thanks again for your response.

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Hi BeStrongBeHappy,


I have been thinking seriouosly about counseling for myself. I appreciate your kind advice and your sense that I need to resolve this is correct. I think I have issues of my own that make it hard for me to let go of unsatisfying relationships. He and I would probably be better off friends. Have a good week.

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It sounds like you are very unhappy with him and that he doesn't treat you right. I am sure your children can sense this unhappiness. Have you thought of leaving him. Although you aren't married, there could be common law rules with regards to "alimony" and since you are the one earning more, you might have to give him money. I have never been married and my only dependent is my dog. I would like to have a lifelong companion but I definitely would rather be alone than with someone who feels they are superior to me. Counseling would be a good idea for you as it might give you some insights into yourself and why you choose to stay in unsatisfying relationships. As someone who is single I can assure you that while it may be lonely at times, I am still very happy, successful and have a very full life. My parents are still together after 46 years so I have never been impacted by divorce. Just as divorce has an impact on children, so does negative dynamics between the parents who choose to stay together. It is something to consider.

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Hi, it was good to get your second reply. I saw him tonight and told him I wanted some space. He usually becomes very humble and self-effacing when I push him away--playing the feel-soory-for-me card and claiming that he really feels very insecure and his arrogance is an over-compensation for that, etc... Usually I soften towards him, but tonight I told him that when he condescends to me and acts bothered when I talk to him that he doesn't seem

to be feeling so bad about himself. He is very insecure, but so? Anyway

CAD, you have been kind and perceptive. Thank you. Have an excellent holiday with your loved ones...

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Hi Hazey Amber


Although I regret him, I don't regret my sons, so that's a difficult question.

I think the phermones (sp?) were strong between us--primal biological instincts, etc... I can't say I COULD have done anything differently given my emotional make-up at the time.

I grew up feeling that others did not want to be there for me. To an extent, I still feel that. I think that is a bit different than feeling I don't [ideserve[/i] people to care for me. This has been the most difficult issue in my life for as long as I can remember. On the one hand, I am good at batting the bull * * * * with people--socializing superficially--but on the other, I am very reserved and sensitive. I don't seem to make friends very easily. My sons and my students, however, buzz around me like I'm honey and they're, bees. Kids are a good investment. The man in question, we'll call him X, has been able to manipulate me because he knows my background and my weaknesses. Plus I tend toward trying to see the best in people and he takes advantage of that, too. Problem is I just can't muster up any belief in him anymore. Looks like his rough spot's gonna last a lifetime.


I think I'm ready to do my something different now.


If you want, you can tell me more about your situation--and thanks for listening.

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