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TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3621
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Professional Coach
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Yet again I'm asking a relationship question! I'm now 52 and

Resolved Question:

Hi there,
Yet again I'm asking a relationship question!
I'm now 52 and briefly, had a 22 yr relationship with the father of my child, then a 5 yr relationship, a 2 yr wirl wind romance and finally a 1 and a half year relationship that has just finished.
My question is whether or not to try to reconcile with this partner.
He has not blown me away or swept me off my feet. He has made his way into my heart through his warmth and care. He is a vulnerable man with a difficult past that includes an alcoholic mother who passed away when he was 25 and a 10 year period of suffering from ME (in my mind as a result of this?)
He is now 45, a bit younger than me and has no children. Although he is warm and easy in social situations I know he actually prefers time on his own. He struggles with being with people for prolonged periods. He has a network of friends and 2 brothers but sees them rarely.
As for myself, I'm pretty sociable with a lot of friendships that I actively nurture.
Also, I have a 21 yr old daughter who is at university. She's been the focus of my life and though she's independent I will always have an open door to her.
So, our relationship? Met online, travelled 5 hours every month to spend a week with each other, felt sooo at ease and comfortable with Mike. He was like a blanket of warmth around me. I like him as a person, I like his ways and the essence of him.
He does not have much and can't offer a financially comfortable future but I figured that I have what I need in that respect and don't necessarily look to a man for that.
So what went wrong?
I've been trying hard to pinpoint when things started to wane. I think it was a couple of things-
One time when he'd been staying here for a month (he had temp work locally). I didn't ask him for rent since I spend time at his, (but this was a month.)He contributed to food shopping and that was all. He said he'd take me out for occasional meal which sounded good to me. On the last night my daughter came home so we were all going out. He turned around and said "oh, so I'm paying for Caitlin now am I." Rightly or wrongly I had a strong reaction to this inside. I simply said " no, of course I'll pay for her." But was harbouring hurt inside. I don't think it was the money thing, it just highlighted that he didn't understand my relationship with my daughter. It was a reasonably priced restaurant and I was supplying the wine so...
It really upset me. I felt he resented my daughter and showed an ungenerous side to him I hadn't seen before.
Ok so that came and went. There were other little niggles regarding him not being too proactive in helping me with 'jobs' around tmy house. When I'm at his I want and like to help him get his place sorted. At first he embraced it but then definitely seemed irritated with my offers to help. All this went undiscussed. I tried not to get irritated by his lack of energy and told myself it was selfish of me to expect a man to do my jobs! He's not lazy in that hell do his fair share of cooking and chores but seemed less interested in investing in me.
Anyhow, about a month ago, he broached the subject of moving down my way. I had been thinking about this and whereas at first I would have had no reservations at all, at this time I did! I was worried that I'd be frustrated that he was not able to put himself whole heartedly into join projects. This might be more me than him since I am guilty of procrastination and I guess I want a man who will help me get myself moving.
Anyway, apparently, my cool response put him off big time. We never discussed reservations at all. We are both sensitive and I think found it difficult to be honest.
So from there it went down hill. He told me the next day that his past relationship of 10 years was with a woman who had left her 2 teenage children to live with him. Rightly or wrongly it made my stomach turn. I wonder why he choose that time to tell me. Was he deliberately trying to put me off?
I know there could have been extenuating circumstances but my reaction was horror and also a feeling of how can you love me (who prioritises her child ) when you lived with a woman for 10 yrs who did that? He didn't explain the situation at all so I am still clueless as to why she did it.
I got a handle on my feelings and decided I must not be judgemental and wanted to carry on with Mike. However, the distance between us widened- lack of affection crept in and then our sex life wained.
We had a brief conversation just before he left (2 weeks ago) instigated by me. I simply pointed out that I felt less secure, he agreed and we ended up sort of just saying it wasn't working and left it at that. No row, no trying to work things out. He did say we should look after ourselves for a bit and that he didn't know if he was capable of a relationship.
Should I walk away quietly? We have spoken on the phone in very warm friendly way. Is it worth broaching the upsetting topics or will I be wasting time
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for being so open and I am sorry to hear of this pain around this. As an outsider, it seems that this relationship may have run its course. Although he, in some ways, has felt like a warm blanket, it has not been enough in all areas and does not seem like it could be enough moving forward. I think there are great differences between the two of you and how you handle life, relationships, work and many things. Sometimes we can look back fondly ***** ***** time spent, but it may not be meant for longevity. I think that your relationship with your daughter is a strong one and he may not understand the nature of it as you have seen in small ways. So, looking in, I can see the sweetness for while it lasted, but I may not see that it is meant for long term.

Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.

Let me know your thoughts.

Jen

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Maybe you're right but you haven't explained why you're so sure of this? Our personalities are quite similar, our experiences in life different.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.

I haven't heard much in the way of similarities or in shared experiences and I don't write with any certainty...life isn't like that and no relationship is either. I am suggesting that not every relationship is meant for longevity and you may ask yourself why you want to hold onto something that may have seen it's best days....stomach churning over the ways he handles things seems to be a common theme for you. But, if you feel that even with these differences you believe you can find your way back and make it work, then that course is what you should follow. Only you can answer that. But one of your questions was should you walk away quietly and I was responding in that vain that it may not be meant for longevity based on what you have shared, but that doesn't detract from what you have shared. But again if the pull feels strong to try again with him, then why not?

Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.

Since the two of you are talking, I might also suggest that you talk openly about what you feel and desire and see if you are on the same page and if you both have the desire to work on things, then there is no harm in trying...at least then you will know what you both want and you can see if it can work this time. Be open with him about your wants, your fears, your vulnerabilities..all of it and maybe you can carve a new path together.

Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.

Checking back to see how things are going.

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