Post # 1
For those lovely bees who have read my previous threads, well, now I’m just even more confused. After thinking things through, speaking with friends and family, reading helpful comments, I had decided yesterday that I would be moving out because FI will never seem able to hear what I’m saying or being willing to address it as a problem. And I’ll always be lonely with him because I don’t feel like he responds to my emotional needs. Although I had mentioned moving out a few days ago, saying it again on Monday night and telling him to start thinking about where else he would live shocked the hell out of him. Last night I got home and he had changed into someone else and started saying all the things I needed him to say a year ago. It was very, very strange. Then we went to our first counselling session together and he was insightful (for him), and I could see a glimmer of hope where before I had thought it would be a session where we would discuss how to break up while living in a really small space as our flat is small.
Now it seems he – in his own words – ‘can’t believe how deaf and blind’ he has been, he doesn’t know why he wasn’t listening when I said how unhappy I was and how much of a problem things were for the past year, and he really wants to work on things.
Do I move out anyway? It will be a logistical nightmare and expensive but will give us the space I need to be able to have some peace. When I’m around him now I just want to start firing questions at him and saying pathetic things like, ‘how could you do XYZ when you knew I was feeling so unhappy? Why didn’t you listen to me for the last year? etc’ I struggled to sleep last night because now he’s had this revelation I want him to really explain himself and I have so much to say – all of which I’ve said before but he’s always ignored it.
Or do I stay here, because it’ll be better to work on things when we’re living in the same space and easier to see whether he truly has changed or not? If he really does suddenly stop withdrawing every time things get difficult and really listen to what I’m saying and is able to talk about things.
Last night after the session was the first time in forever that we just sat and talked and had a great conversation – about difficult things – and it felt like he was my friend. I have not had that in such a long time. I feel like I need to protect myself from being more upset and move out – but then is that the final nail in the coffin of our relationship?
Post # 3
I feel like if you stay, things will fall back into their old routine after awhile. It also sounds like you’ve reached a point where you’re not sure how much you have left to give. Move out and get your clarity back. Maybe this change is going to be what saves your relationship. It will make you miss and appreciate each other more. Don’t stay just to observe him and see if he’s changed, that’s going to be miserable for both of you.
I think your man sounds problem
>Solution oriented. You presented a problem, he’s trying to fix it. But people don’t just change because of a few conversations and some therapy. That change will come if you both want it to, and you don’t need to be living together to make it a reality.
Bottom line, if you BOTH want this to work and not just stick a band-aid on it so nothing really has to change, it can work. A move shouldn’t change that.
Post # 4
Sometimes people need a wake up call. He may not have believed you would actually move out when you said it before so he ignored it. I would try to find a friend/family member you could stay with for a week or so just to see how it goes before you spend all that money to move.
I agree with @KatyElle: that you don’t have to be living together to make it work.
Post # 5
@KatyElle: yep, that’s what I’m worried about – things just falling back to the way they were. I think this has given him and me and wake up call. I think I will use your words to explain why moving out doesn’t necessarily mean the end of our relationship.
it was interesting in counselling last night how much he struggled to respond to what the therapist was asking. She would ask him how he felt about a situation, or what he heard when I said something emotional to him, and he would start describing facts about the situation, and not actually answering her question. So it’s good to know it’s not just me he struggles talking to! and also I guess i just need some validation that I’m making the right choice, i’m so sad right now and seem to be crying constantly about the thought of moving out but at the same time if I stay i’ll just be crying anyway. oh life is so crap.
Post # 6
@MrsCoachBtoBee: oh that’s strange, we must have both been typing the words ‘wake up call’ at the same time!
Post # 7
@KatyElle: I agree on the problem/solution oriented thing. So many men are like that…they see an issue, “fix” it, and then move on, not realizing that usually there are underlying behaviors that keep causing the issue to crop up and then it keeps happening.
Living there with him is causing you to be consumed with this decision, and if you left, you can still work it out, but if it does not work out, you are already out of there. It is a way to protect yourself.
A few months ago I was where you are and I have to admit, it was heartbreaking. I decided to stay because we worked on things and we got it sorted out. If I would have left, we would have been over for good. Either way, this is a really hard decision…I wouldnt’ do anything rash, and if after a few weeks his behavior goes back to the ‘old him’, then you might have your answer.
Post # 8
Agree with PPs, but as an intermediary solution is there a friend you can stay with for a few weeks as a “trial move”. You can let him know that you really want to work on everything together, but you can’t be around him right now because it wont be fair to either of you. All you can think of is what was done in the past, but that is something that should be spoken about in counseling, not at home right now.
And then schedule regular date nights once a week where he has to plan what you do and you will make every attempt at not talking about what happened in counseling, unless he brings it up.
And then after a few weeks you can reevaluate the situation.
Post # 9
I think if it were me, I would move. This way, you can be on your own, and know if this is what you truly want. As the others have said, you can still work on your relationship, but I think both of you being on your own will give him a chance to either really change, or revert back to the old him. One of my best friends stayed an extra 6 months because her husband kept telling her he would work on counseling, and after the 6 months, he had done nothing. She was so pissed, and felt really betrayed, and then when he did start after she moved out, it was too little too late, and they were done for good. Things might have ended up differently had she moved out before giving him the ultimatum, we’ll never know. That was a little over a year ago, and she’s happier now, and with someone else, and he’s going through a tough time, and can’t help but think that he should have done so much more, but was complacent in the fact that she would stay.
Move out, go back to just dating him, and see where things lead. ((HUGS))
Post # 10
@londongal: I feel like you need to just let it go. He has changed. Your ultimatum managed to scare him into a different person. If you keep throwing everything he has done in his face, then he’ll change back. You need to support this new “him” by letting it go (for your own and your relationship’s sake) but tell him firmly that you’re not going to tolerate what has happened if it happens again and that you will leave if he slips back into it. Congratulations, your man has opened his eyes! Now you have to let him earn your trust back, and just enjoy the ride.
Post # 11
@squeak: Why should she “let it go?” Because after a long time of emotional disconnection, loneliness, of not being heard, her guy finally realized “Oh shit she’s serious” and started making up for lost time? It’s great that he’s making a (recent) effort, but there is still a lot to work through. It’s probably not a good idea to say “Ok you’re different now, but just to let you know, if you don’t stick with it I’m leaving again.” It just continues the cycle, and it makes the other person feel resentful that you’re dangling ultimatums over their head. OP seems to be leaning towards what’s best for her now, not just encouraging the new and improved man because she doesn’t want to break up. You don’t “scare” someone into being a different person either.
Post # 12
@squeak: I have to disagree. You can’t just change years worth of behavior in a week or two. I have to agree with everything @KatyElle: said. She’s looking out for the both of them by making the decision to move out.
@londongal: I’m sure this decision must be really hard for you. I was in your position about 5 years ago. I ultimately moved out, and felt a relief and clarity in doing so. It made the next decisions I made a lot easier. Unfortunately for my last relationship it didn’t work out, but that was because there was a lot of emotional and verbal abuse.
Your relationship (from what you’ve shared!) sounds a whole lot different and it sounds like your FI loves you a lot. He just sounds a little oblivious. I feel like there is hope for you and your FI, and I agree with everyone else when they say a temporary move may make all the difference and may help save your relationship!
Post # 13
@KatyElle: I didn’t mean let it go as in just act as if everything is alright. I did mention that he has to win her trust back. You’re right, she has to think about what’s best for her, but I think this man has shown that he really loves her and is willing to show a lot of respect. She should test him over time, but I’m not sure that moving out will do anything for that. I think whether she moves out or stays there, if he’s changed, he needs to stay changed for a while, and then she can give him her trust back. That is, if he really has changed. If he’s just putting on a mask, that’s a different story. But he does seem like he has changed.
Post # 14
thank you all for your input, it is very helpful and refreshing to hear things from people who don’t know him or us as a couple (I’m hearing a lot of, ‘oh but i love him! he’s so nice!’ from friends and family….)
yes, FI does love me. I know that and that is what is making this so difficult. I don’t think love on its own is enough for a long term relationship. While I think it is possible (not definite, but possible) to work through and improve the communication issues, I still think on top of that, there are also differences in who we are as people that are also going to cause problems. So while I appreciate that he is finally seeing the light, I also think that we both need to think carefully about whether we do make a good team. When we first got together it was all about hanging out, watching movies, and lots of time in bed together. I don’t think that’s a great foundation for a marriage. I think I’m more sure in myself now that without the distraction of mad men or whatever we’re watching, hanging out on the couch with a bottle of wine, and jumping into bed, we both really truly need time to evaluate what we want in a partner. We never, ever had that conversation before we moved in together and if someone had described him to me and offered to set us up on a blind date, I probably would have said no! So yes, I am definitely going to tell him I want us to move out and live apart for six months. I think by the end of that he should be able to think about what he wants as well and we both need to do that in our own, neutral territory.
but it still won’t stop me from loving him and feeling sad and guilty and upset and horrible for quite a few weeks i guess. and crying randomly. gotta love that random crying – i’m now the crazy girl who cries while walking down the street.
Post # 15
@KatyElle: *cheering* Completely agree.
ETA: I posted before reading every post and just read londongal’s last thoughts… you really do sound level-headed and insightful… I know the crazy crying girl isn’t the most comfortable place to be, but don’t be too hard on yourself for being emotional. I hear so much wisdom already in what you tell yourself. Follow your instincts (moving out) and see what direction he chooses to go in. I had a friend once call these times in our life “learning relationships.” If you were to stay, it would take a great deal of will-power not to confront him with everything you mentioned and to keep it in the therapist’s office. Give yourself some space and let it play out… and keep being the strong, smart woman you are.
Post # 16
@KatyElle: Yet again KE is droping science in this thread.
OP I think you said it best yourself “started saying all the things I needed him to say a year ago.” Saying and doing to two completely diffrent things.