Now I’m in a position to move near her which I’m doing. But since she’s left her rented accommodation, she dropped a bombshell and said we can’t be together. She says I’m the perfect man for her, and she sends me emails saying she misses me and that I’m the love of her life. She desperately wants a baby; I had a vasectomy years ago and then had it reversed in my only marriage. That marriage produced my son who’s 19 now.
So despite the love we have for each other, she feels she needs to meet a younger man to have a family and keep her parents happy. She’s a beautiful woman but lacks confidence in her body and detests the thought of showing it to anyone (except me). I’ve no problem having more children, and despite my age I’m very fit and active. She says she misses me and wants to come see me next week and stay friends and share what we can.
Since the split we’ve either texted, chatted or emailed every day. Our breakup is killing me and I know she’s hurting. Do I just walk away or stick around knowing that, if she meets someone else, I’ll be gutted? — Her Older Man
This woman is a grown adult and she’s kept your relationship a secret from her parents for nine years?! Yes, you have a big age difference, and she was only 25 (to your 51) when you started dating, which might make many parents anxious or suspicious, but it’s been nine years! If at no point in these last nine years she felt like the risk of upsetting her parents was worth being open about whom she loves, it says something about her character and her commitment to you.
Maybe she really, really does love you, and maybe you can and are willing to give her what she says she wants (a family), but it doesn’t seem that she’s able or willing to give you what you want. Her actions speak volumes. And love her as you do, you’re doing yourself a disservice hanging around in this relationship purgatory, settling for whatever crumbs of attention she’ll give you, hoping that, if you “stay friends and share what you can,” she might come back around and be your girlfriend. It sounds like you are pinning hopes on the idea that she won’t find anyone else — that her lack of confidence will keep her single and that loneliness will propel her back to you. Do you really want to be her person by default? Furthermore, if you really loved her, wouldn’t you want her to find someone she felt she could love openly and who could give her what it is she says she wants (and thinks she can’t get from you)?
Nine years is a long, long time to be in a relationship that doesn’t move forward. Nine years is a long time to be closeted from a loved one’s loves ones. If I were you, I’d cut off all communication with her and tell her that, if she wants you in your life, it’s all or nothing. She doesn’t get to keep you around to “share what she can” while she searches for a younger man she’s not ashamed to introduce to her parents. If you’re going to be gutted anyway, get it over with now so you can start the healing process and begin to move on.
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