youmaysayimadreamer : You seem like you have a pretty good understanding of what constitutes a healthy relationship. It sounds like you know what behaviors of his (and of yourself) are unhealthy, and you are looking to see change.
That’s a good start.
Where I think you err is in wanting to move the relationship forward BEFORE you’ve seen noticeable change.
It sounds like this is your thinking process:
Things are going OK – we seem compatible enough.
We both have things to work on, and we are working on them.
Let’s keep this train chugging forward because the is the best relationship I’ve been in thus far…
When you’re thinking should be this:
Things are going OK – we seem compatible, but I’m seeing some red flags.
*Lists them out.*
Are any of these red flags deal breakers for me?
Are there any red flags here that, if they didn’t change, I wouldn’t be ok with??
*Lists out the deal breaker red flags, and the ones that MUST change before the relationship can move forward* (spoiler alert – the lists should be identical)
Hmmm – while this is the best relationship I’ve been in to date, that does NOT mean this is the best relationship I could possibly ever have.
*Mentally raises bar for the type of man she will allow to live with her child (i.e. one with NO red flags)*
*Has serious conversation with SO regarding goals for changed behavior, complete with timelines for when the behavior should have changed by.*
If SO responds defensively, break up with him.
If SO agrees to change, then reverts to same behavior, break up with him.
If SO agrees to change, but has not changed within agreed-upon timeline, break up with him.
DO NOT MOVE IN, DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $100.
Having high expectations of partners is healthy, holding partners accountable for their actions and promises is healthy, setting boundaries for yourself within the relationship is healthy.
I worry that you are trying to move the relationship forward purely because it’s the healthiest you’ve had so far. That does NOT mean it is healthy.
We tend to attract partners that are at the same level as we are. You have been working on yourself, but you still have a ways to go, according to you. So you have attarcted a man in the same boat. He still has a ways to go.
Two people who still have a ways to go moving in together and getting married… they don’t often close their respective distances.
Don’t count on a marriage to grow you as a person or to heal the relationship’s wounds. Marriage will magnify any relationship problems, and takes a lot of work and energy to maintain, leaving less time and energy for each partner to work on themselves.
What if you throw him back, and keep working on yourself, and wait for marriage until you YOURSELF are healthy, and you thus attract fully healthy men?