The state of my relationship

Those of you who have been reading for a while are probably wondering what’s going on with my relationship since I made this decision earlier in the year. Or I could be flattering myself and you’re not actually interested ;-). For those who don’t know what I’m talking about and don’t want to go and read my previous long (and – I see now  error-filled) post, in a nutshell I told my boyfriend of nearly 9 years that if he couldn’t decide what he wants from our relationship by the end of the year I would move out. To quote myself in the post I wrote at the time if, by that time, “he still doesn’t know what he wants, then I don’t think he ever will“.

Well, it turns out I am weak. Jan has been trying really hard recently to show that he does appreciate me and what we have. He has been calling to let me know when he’s on his way home, letting me know when he’s going to be late and I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve actually eaten together in the evenings!! If you’ve been reading for a while you will know actually getting to eat a meal with my boyfriend is a major deal!! He has also said he enjoys living with me and wants me to stay. He is still unable to tell me what he wants and if there is any chance of our relationship going anywhere. Despite this I’ve decided to stay – because I’m not ready to be single (once we break up, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll want to find someone new). Because I love him. Because we have argued so little over the past few months and life has just felt good. Because I am too weak to do what is best in the long run

…Hope… (Photo: ĐāżŦ {mostly absent})

knowing it’s going to hurt me right now. And because, deep down, I still have hope – that he will eventually want to settle down with me, that “eventually” will turn out to be sooner, that we can somehow find a way to compromise and make things work. Hope is  a bitch!

I am aware that, by making this decision, I have basically given him free rein too do what he likes. Obviously I don’t follow through on my consequences, so what reason does he have to believe me in future? I am also aware that I’ve basically forfeited my chances of ever getting married or having children. Please don’t rub that in – I’m having enough trouble coming to terms with it anyway! But even if I decided to leave, I’m not sure I would even want to be a mother any more. I’m 30 in less than a year and the last thing I ever wanted was to be an old mother. Having my first child when I’m already past 30 is just not for me. A second or third child after 30, okay. But the first? How old would I then be then by the time any more came along? And while it’s fine when they’re babies, the only reasons I was in any way able to get along with my parents as a teenager was because they were young enough that I felt they could understand (I wouldn’t have wanted to have kids as young as they did though – my mum was only just 20 when I was born!). 25 was the perfect age for the first child, I thought. Upon reaching 25 I realised there was no way it would be happening any time soon and changed to the very vague “before I turn 30”. Now that I’m coming up to 30, I’m becoming less and less certain that I am even cut out to be a mother. New borns terrify me (they look so fragile!) and if I never have any children I can’t mess them up for life, right? If I were to get pregnant by accident then that would be nice, but since that is highly unlikely I would rather be in a childless relationship with someone I love and genuinely enjoy being with than live alone with neither children nor a boyfriend.

As Tina Dico says, not much is so much more than nothing. And despite how this post sounds, I am happy right now! So even if failing to stick to my decision is weak and I may be making a rod for my own back in the long run, right now I choose being happy with my non-comittal boyfriend over being miserable and alone. I’ll have plenty of time to do that for the rest of my life.

Heart Candle
Heart Candle (Photo credit: Bob.Fornal)

24 thoughts on “The state of my relationship

  1. Life isn’t a numbers game though is it. Life doesn’t arrive on it’s due birthday, baby at 25 tick, second can be past 30 tick…
    Life is what happens to us, to our hearts, to our soul.
    From my view point of 20 years a couple, 2 kids conceived age 24 ish and 34, a year off the dreaded forty and the key things that spring to mind are:
    Don’t settle for less than a deep soul connection where you would both do anything for one another. He is not willing after nearly a decade to put whatever personal history or insecurities he has to think of you first. To propose and make babies with you, then he is not the one.
    It takes so much out of you, life, raising babies, keeping the love alive that fire has to burn very hot at the start, he has to feel willing to jump through flames for you for it to burn hot enough to survive.
    I totally understand you staying for Christmas and the new year but come spring, maybe March or April. Think again.
    The thing with using alternations to get what you want is.. Who wants someone under duress? Someone you have shared your life, love and soul with for 10 years needs to want to…
    I knew a couple many years ago, they lived together for about a decade and finally she pushed for marriage and children and he left her. Within the year he was married to someone else and soon they were expecting a baby, he had no hesitation, this man who had dragged his heals for all that time. Why? Because she was the one. He would walk through fire for her and he did.

    1. I keep telling Jan that once he finds someone he really loves he will KNOW. There will be no more of this dragging his heels and not knowing what he wants (although, having said that he is just as bad when it comes to other areas of his life, e.g. he won’t get on with his dissertation because he can’t be 100% certain that the end result will be perfect and of use to future researchers…). Really, by staying I am being a bit selfish because no matter what he does or doesn’t know. I DO know that he is the one I want. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I’m HIS one.

      Interestingly, at the beginning of our relationship, he was the more committed one (he had to wait 3 months after telling me loved me for the first time before I would say it back).

      1. I strongly believe in sealing the deal pre moving in. I think it is such a leap of faith one almost has to make it while the other is still elusive and slightly unknown to you. once you know the warts and all some find it harder to commit or to bother to make that romantic grand gesture.
        Another possibility that poped into my mind is to recrete that situation. by moving out not to split up but for a job or something. let him miss you ( again not now but in new year) date again, become a bit mysterious and make him wonder what you are doing with your time. make him a little insecure. it might be the push he needs to realise you are not here on a plate for him but a precious part of his life he needs to cherish or lose.

  2. Wow, certainly a big decision but I know you made the right one by following your heart. And hey, my mom had me at 34 and has more energy today than I’ve ever had. I never think of her as an old mother and a lot of my friend’s parents are the same age. Don’t be discouraged, you never know! Wishing you the best and a great new year.

    1. Thank you. I don’t really think 34 is too old for A child, just for my first. By the time subsequent children come along I could be in my 40s! And I hate the idea of only having one child.

      1. Not if you leave it too late and are no longer able to conceive as easily (a few people in my family have had problems conceiving and I really don’t want to go through what they did!)

  3. Actually, yes, I WAS wondering …
    But my take on this is that if Jan really has made an effort to show you that he cares for you, then maybe now just isn’t the right time to put your ultimatum into action. He HAS made a change. Perhaps not quite as far as you might like, but baby steps are good too! Whether he will continue to evolve and be able to tell you what he wants is another question – but your heart is telling you to stay. For now. Trust me (as someone who left her husband after 18 years of marriage), you will know when/ if the time is right to leave! You haven’t really given him free reign either, you’re just putting your decision on hold for now. And please don’t count out starting over! The second time around is WAY better than the first for many of us, because we know what can go wrong and we work very hard to try to ensure that doesn’t happen!
    You WILL be okay, whatever happens now or in another year. Really! xoxo

    1. You were one of the long-term readers I was thinking of. Hiiii!

      Yes, baby steps. I at least feel like we’re going SOMEWHERE now, which is more than I did a year ago. And it doesn’t even have to end in marriage. I’d be perfectly happy for him to just say he wants to be commit to me – no papers necessary!

  4. Only you know what you want and are prepared to settle for.

    It’s good that he has made an effort; if he continues to make that effort, even better. If he doesn’t, you can have it out with him again. But if you make another ultimatum, you have to mean it – and follow through on it.

    The time we have is finite; make it count.

  5. Hi Bevchen, what a genuine post. I am completely shaken by your honesty and willingness to share it on your blog. I think it is great that you can write it off your soul somewhere and somehow. I used to be in a longterm relationship, facing problems and had no vehicle nor channel to let it out. In the end I followed my inner voice telling me what I wanted and not wanted after ignoring it for so long. In my case I was the one not ready for babies etc (being 30 myself already, but haven’t settled financially etc. it ended all up in ectopic pregnancy which I would never even wish to my arch enemy (if I’d had one)) and that our life philosophies differ in many other cases and that it (in the end, at first I also did not see it) was good for me and probably us to split up. If you follow your heart and listen to your inner voice you are on the right track, I guess. I am glad that there is a lot of love involved to him; in my case it was something else, call it compassion or I don’t know…
    Being single now again is indeed hard. And I completely felt useless and missed (still miss) the comfort of being one item with somebody. But I did find my happiness back. Strive again upon the things which are important to ME, and learned to trust my feelings which will always lead me to the good and best for me. I do hope (and there it is again — HOPE) to find my soul mate out there somewhere, have lots of beautiful children, and a stable relationship with. Even though I have already hit the 30.
    Wishing you a merry time and happy Christmas & lots of love

    PS: I have written you a book here now. I am sorry. I just failed miserably to express myself shorter.

    1. Thank you! It still always seems a bit weird to write these things on the Internet for the whole world to see, but I don’t have many close friends and it seems unfair to talk about Jan with people we both hang around with regularly. This is my way of getting it and not going insane/taking all my frustration out on Jan. Now, when we do talk, it will be a TALK not an argument 🙂

      I know having kids later isn’t really a bad thing, I just have to get used to the idea of ME doing that (and hope I don’t end up leaving it too late and trying for YEARS, going the IVF route, etc. only to end up finally having a child in my 40s on my absolute last possible chance, as has happened recently in my family)

      1. I know this situation — being abroad, and not having that many real (=no internet, but real friends who you can visit in case you want and hang out with face to face) friends. It can be very hard at times and I think it is good that you use this vehicle to get things out and talk.
        It is good, that if you talk with Jan, to Talk and not to argue, as it would not make things better, bring yourself or the relationship further.

        I know what you think about if you talk about the whole IVF thing. The only advise I may give in general is to let go of fear (for the future in general, future pregnancies etc) as fear is a rather blocking energy and emotion and fill the “gap” with love..

  6. I am glad for you. And happy!
    I think it’s the right thing to do for now. And I somehow hoped it will turn out that way.
    I am a sucker for happy endings.

    The Baby thing:
    I always said I never want children. Then it changed to maybe one day. And since about 2 years I am really thinking about it. I am 30 now, turning 31 soon. But I can’t get a Baby right now as I am in a special year at work with important exams coming up.
    I always said I don’t want to be too old with my first child. But most likely I will be 32.
    My Mom was 38 when she got me and it never, ever was a problem for me that she was older.
    The only thing I am a bit paranoid about is that she will die sooner as other mothers who got their kids at a younger age.
    But that’s bullshit as well because there can be an accident or an illness anytime, no matter how old someone is.
    So, I came to terms with it that I will be over 30 and not only over 30 but most likely 32. I can’t change it and I can only hope that it will work out well.

    1. I have the opposite feeling to yours about your mum – I worry that by leaving it later I will die when my children are still pretty young. If I put off having a child til I’m 35 (for example), I’ll already by 45 when they turn 10. When my mum was 45, I was already an adult!

  7. I was wondering too Bev! It sounded from your previous posts that Jan was making an effort, positive stuff. By the way I’m not sure you do absolutely knw when you meet the one, mostly because I don’t believe there is just one person out there for each of us but that’s a whole new discussion!! Enjoy Christmas! xxx

    1. Thanks Anna! I’m not sure I agree with the one person thing either… there are sooo many people out there, surely there has to be more than one that could fall for me!

      Yes, he has been making an effort. I actually feel like a make him out to be worse than he is on here, when it’s just this one aspect that annoys me. Even he thinks things between us our good, so why would he not want to keep that?!

  8. Hi, just stumbled across your blog, and I feel compelled to comment!
    I love how you have been brave enough to put your most intimate relationship thoughts ‘out there’.
    I just wanted to try and allay your fear of having children past the age of 30! I put off having a child (and I did have every opportunity) until I was with my now husband, because the relationships I was in at the time did not feel like the right ones to start a family in. I had my son when I was 34. Sure it’s probably different for everyone, but at that age I felt mature, stable and confident in myself and my ability to be a ‘good’ mother. (not at all sure I am now, but hey). And, more importantly, I had EVERY confidence that my husband was the best possible father for our son. We chose not to have any more children, and we are very, very happy as a unit of 3 and our son is now 10 and flourishing in our love and attention.
    I do have a niggle of sadness when I think that by the time my son is 40, I will be very wrinkly, but if I had chosen to have children earlier, the relationships would not have lasted and my child(ren) the victims of broken homes. In any case, we are not ‘old’ forty somethings and still actively ‘do stuff’ with our son.
    This really is an ‘each to their own’ kind of situation. There is never a ‘right’ time to do ANYTHING in this life, but some times are probably better than others.
    I always think that the carrying out of major life decisions is, actually, very easy. The horrible difficulty lies in the time and emotional effort and courage involved in making them.
    You sound as if you will be able to make the right choices, as you sound pretty strong to me.
    All the very best for 2013.

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