My problem is that he keeps telling me I don’t have to do this with him, I can leave and that’s ok. He even said he’s fine if we “ride this out till I deploy and then break up.” I keep telling him I’m here for it, I’m not going anywhere. His answer is that I’m not taking it seriously enough, not really realizing how hard it will be. But I do realize it; I’m just not going to sit here and cry about it until he leaves for basic. He’s a logical, realistic person, and I feel like this is partially his way of coping himself and also his way of making sure I’m not going to just leave as soon as it gets a little hard. He loves me, and I know he wants me to have the best life I can, even if it were without him. But I do want to go through this, I can do this. I just don’t know how to get that through to him.
I know, too, that he’s unsure because I haven’t really decided on a career since graduating college, and I am unsure of what to do with my life, but I honestly believe I can do both. I can find myself and grow while being there with him.
For some background: We met online back three years ago, and I moved to be with him two years ago, so long-distance isn’t new to us, which is why this doesn’t scare me as much. I handled it then and I can handle it now.
I guess I’m asking you how I can show him better that I can handle this, and also why does he keep saying I don’t have to do this with him? It makes me feel like he doesn’t love me….but I know he does.
I’m very confused right now, and any advice would be wonderful. — Ready to Wait
Wow, so after dating long-distance, you actually picked up and moved to be with him and then, without even discussing it with you, he told you he was joining the military and planned/hoped to join some sort of elite group eventually that would mean you’d hardly see each other for six years? And you are convinced he loves you and wants a life with you? Really?! Because this isn’t how someone who is committed to creating a life with someone behaves. At the VERY least, he would have had numerous conversations with you about this plan of his – how it would affect him, you, your life together, your plans for the future. And, yet, he did none of that. He just went ahead and made the plans, then told you about them, and then started working on convincing you how hard it would be on you and how ok it would be if you break up when it’s time for him to leave.
He is really trying hard to send some messages to you. You need to listen.
The fact that you don’t seem to have a life outside of him – that you don’t have a career, that you don’t know what to do with your life, that you need to “find yourself,” also speaks volumes. It’s like you’ve put all your eggs in this basket — your relationship with him — and you’ve neglected other aspects of your identity. So… of COURSE you are willing to put your life — yourself — on hold for six years waiting for him because you have nothing else going on, it sounds like.
This isn’t healthy. This isn’t what Ted wants for you, and, consequently, it’s not what he wants for himself. He doesn’t want a woman whose identity is so wrapped up in him and his dreams and his plans. I think he probably wants you to have a life outside of him… and you should want that, too, especially since it doesn’t sound like the life you share with him is truly a shared life to begin with. You are hardly integrated in it if he’s making all these plans that so greatly impact you without even discussing them with you first.
Don’t waste your youth on this relationship that doesn’t even include you. Take this opportunity to break up amicably and find yourself, without the pressure of being someone’s rock. Be your own rock. Figure out who you are and what you want while he does the same, and maybe, if you’re meant to be together, your paths will bring you back to each other. And maybe they won’t. But I can promise that a path you follow to your own dreams and goals will be so much more satisfying and fulfilling than following the path to someone else’s dreams, especially when you are being told in more ways than one that you aren’t really welcome to accompany him on that path.
In other words: I think it’s probably time to MOA.
While I am planning to return to work part-time, do more community hobbies with our three girls at night, or do online college, he is not really looking further into the future for us all to be happy and at peace, I feel. When we first got together, he wanted a lot of children and we thought we’d build a family business together. But all of that has changed in the five years we’ve been together. Help us! — Ready for #4
You are NOT in a good position to continue adding to your family. You aren’t on the same page in terms of shared goals and ambitions, you apparently don’t have enough money for a wedding, you live in a small home — what on earth makes you think a fourth child is a good idea?! It’s really not. As in the first letter above, your guy is trying to give you some messages and you are ignoring him. He doesn’t want what you want. He probably feels utterly overwhelmed being the sole breadwinner for a family of five as it is — a family that lives in a small home and can’t afford a wedding — and parenting three children who are all under the age of, what, four?!
When you have three small children like you do and you are gunning so hard for a fourth baby before you have a financial plan in place for supporting all these kids, and before you and your partner have agreed on general life goals together — it’s usually because there’s a huge gaping hole in your life that you’re trying desperately to fill. Your first, second, and third babies aren’t filling that hole and neither will a fourth. Babies aren’t bandaids. Work with what you have already. Figure out what the fuck is going on with your relationship and your financial plans.
Also, when you’re supporting three small children and a stay-at-home partner, you don’t need to own a tuxedo. The only thing your fiancé is trying to buy is time because he is not ready to legally tie himself to you and this life you’ve begun together. He sure as shit isn’t ready to tie himself to one more mouth to feed. Please, please, listen to what he’s trying to tell you. He does NOT want more children. What he probably wants is a closer partnership – to feel more connected to you and on the same page in regards to future goals and plans. These are far more important steps to take in a relationship than adding to your brood.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.