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getting serious with a dad -need advice - Page 2

post #21 of 40

I agree, run! hug2.gif

post #22 of 40

If you are already grieving for the relationship, then you know what has to be done. Get out and don't look back. And it is good that he hasn't met your dc yet. You wouldn't want this influence around them. Best of luck.

post #23 of 40
Thread Starter 

Holy crap! I broke it off two weeks ago and have been holding firm. He has consistently been pledging love and saying he'll walk through fire. He tells me he has been using cognitive behavioral therapy to manage his anxiety again. He called his parents to apologize for holding a 20 year grudge and let them know he needs and wants them in his life. 

 

I'm holding firm that friendship is all I can do right now. But I have to say, I'm thawing a little. How long before he starts showing his true colors again? Can people change?

 

I am absolutely wary of his soft sell and his optimism. Gosh, life is weird.

post #24 of 40
Thread Starter 

Thanks mamas! You have such insight and experience to share. I am going to check out the book recommend.

 

Every time we talk now, he apologizes up and down for hurting me and he says that he wants a relationship based on mutual growth and healthy communication. He has stopped talking poorly of his daughter's mom and is now trying to be "helpful" when she has issues.

 

He has been willing to talk about this stuff for hours and hours on the phone and has stopped being defensive. I'm still not convinced that it's not a gloss-over. Not at all. Has anyone had experience with someone changing?

 

My questions for him:

What do you really like/love about me?

Why does*this* particular relationship matter?

How long have you been dealing with negativity?

How has grumpiness played into your other relationships?

What is your history with grumpiness and your daughter?

Are you aware of it when you're being grumpy?

What are you trying to communicate when you act grumpy?

post #25 of 40

If you broke it off, and he cared about you, he would take no for an answer.  Break off communication.  It sounds like he's trying to get you back, and will say anything to do so.  I would stay firm, and break off communication.

post #26 of 40

mama people DO change. not very often but they DO. and many dont.

 

you have to discover which side of the statistic he resides on.

 

and only time will tell. 

 

hold firm. put him to the test. see if he survives the test of time coz if he IS a wolf in sheep clothing his wolf will eventually show thru.

 

what you need to do is make sure he doesnt break you down. 

 

however even if he does - its not all lost.

 

you will go thru some hardship till you finally figure out the reality. 

 

if he wants a chance - give him one if u so desire (which is what it looks like) but ONLY on your terms NOT his. 

 

however if you ask me i'd still say RUUUUNNNN.

post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

If you broke it off, and he cared about you, he would take no for an answer.  Break off communication.  It sounds like he's trying to get you back, and will say anything to do so.  I would stay firm, and break off communication.


 

This. If you get back together, this is what you'll know he's capable of being like.... this is the bait. Make no mistake, there will be a switch. These changes he's made sound very sudden and drastic, too much so to be genuine.

post #28 of 40

If he loves you so much he will wait for you. He is making changes because you want to see them, not because he sees anything wrong with his behaviors. Can he maintain the changes even if you guys aren't back together? Does he want to?

 

I dated a guy who had similar behaviors, and it was really, really difficult to stay broken up. I relented (and that's what it felt like) several times, he was so sincere! He was trying so hard! The changes weren't genuine and were motivated by his desire to continue the relationship.

post #29 of 40
Thread Starter 
Thanks for continuing this journey with me. Yeah, his pursuit is unrelenting. And I don't trust it.

I have been alone. It's not like I have to have this relationship. I am really enjoying communicating with my true self and my intuition through this process.

That said, I'm also dialoguing with myself about the fact that I've gone through SO many relationships. My standards are so high for being with someone who is really in touch. I pray that it's possible for me someday to be with someone. And I pray that I'm not running around my own issues like intolerance, lack of ability to bring things up until there's a crisis point, fear of committment, etc.

This relationship has come the closest by far.

Do you have evolved, happy, healthy relationships? Did you go for "kind" above all other qualities? It seems like in this case he highly values my kindness because it has made up for his sometimes inability to act in kindness due to his anxieties overshadowing everything.
post #30 of 40

EG i have a thing about desperation.

 

anyone who comes across desperate to me - whether love interest or friend - in my experience has always spelt trouble for me. the kind of trouble i am not interested in dealing with. its because of my own desperation that i suffered so hard when my marriage broke up.

 

i understand becoming choosy. i am to such an extent that i'd rather be alone than put up with someone else's stuff.

 

however the ending of a relationship is never a failure for me. i see it as education. its taught me to define what i truly want. some of them have helped me recognise my own issues.

post #31 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by emma_goldman View Post

That said, I'm also dialoguing with myself about the fact that I've gone through SO many relationships. My standards are so high for being with someone who is really in touch. I pray that it's possible for me someday to be with someone. And I pray that I'm not running around my own issues like intolerance, lack of ability to bring things up until there's a crisis point, fear of committment, etc.
 


Anyone who doesn't respect you enough to respect when you say you don't want to be with them, is NOT a good person.  You don't have high standards, you are allowed to demand respect.

 

post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by emma_goldman View Post

Thanks for continuing this journey with me. Yeah, his pursuit is unrelenting. And I don't trust it.

I have been alone. It's not like I have to have this relationship. I am really enjoying communicating with my true self and my intuition through this process.

That said, I'm also dialoguing with myself about the fact that I've gone through SO many relationships. My standards are so high for being with someone who is really in touch. I pray that it's possible for me someday to be with someone. And I pray that I'm not running around my own issues like intolerance, lack of ability to bring things up until there's a crisis point, fear of committment, etc.

This relationship has come the closest by far.

Do you have evolved, happy, healthy relationships? Did you go for "kind" above all other qualities? It seems like in this case he highly values my kindness because it has made up for his sometimes inability to act in kindness due to his anxieties overshadowing everything.


Your standards are not too high. If you need to rationalise and talk yourself into it even though you have nagging concerns about this guy, that's a major red flag.

post #33 of 40
You standards are not too high. That guy sounds like a lot of trouble, and he will be a crappy step parent to your son. He can't even be nice to his biological child, and he would have even less attachment to your boy. Run, don't look back, and protect your baby from this man.
In my experience people who need to blame others for their problems do not wise up and face it. I'm sorry. hug.gif:
post #34 of 40

There's nothing wrong with wanting someone who's in touch! DH isn't exactly Mr. Sensitive... he isn't ever going to 'nurture his inner child' or haul all his skeletons out of the closet. He was married previously and when he talked about his marriage, yeah... he said his XW treated him like crap. He also said he hurried in, and he didn't leave when he figured out who she was. He didn't hurt her, but there were times when he lost his temper in a way that scared him, so when he finally left her, he signed himself up for anger management. He recognized and took responsibility for his part. We've been together over two years, and I've never seen him out of control, but I've seen him get frustrated many, many times and put the skills he learned to use. All adults have baggage, it's what they're doing with it that matters. If this is what you were seeing from your guy, consistently over time, would your standards be 'too high' to allow him to continue to be in your life? I doubt it. 

post #35 of 40
Quote:

Originally Posted by emma_goldman View Post

How long before he starts showing his true colors again? Can people change?

 



Of course people can change!

 

I've been given the advice (by professionals) that it takes around 2 years for true colors to show.  Anyone can keep up a charade for 2 years, but once they start heading towards the 3 year mark it becomes harder to keep living a lie.  Unfortunately in a few relationships, this means a new baby is now part of the relationship and the mother stays and puts up with bad behaviour.

post #36 of 40
Thread Starter 

Again, thanks! It really helps to get feedback, perspective, advice and reality checks from awesome mamas who have blended their families.

 

I finally just asked him to stop pressuring me. And we've continued to be friends. Just not dating. I'm feeling so much more grounded now and empowered for being able to listen to myself and take care of myself/my son by following through. Thanks for helping me!

 

I was brought up in a patriarchial religion and my parents used cry-it-out, scheduled feedings, harsh and inconsistant discipline etc. from birth. I was also one of many many siblings. It hasn't been easy for me to get in touch with my feelings and intuition and self-will since it didn't matter what I thought/felt/needed when I was growing up. The healing continues. I am energized to create space for children to have self-awareness and trust intuition and feel empowered to shape their own lives.

 

Thanks!!

post #37 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by emma_goldman View Post

Again, thanks! It really helps to get feedback, perspective, advice and reality checks from awesome mamas who have blended their families.

 

I finally just asked him to stop pressuring me. And we've continued to be friends. Just not dating. I'm feeling so much more grounded now and empowered for being able to listen to myself and take care of myself/my son by following through. Thanks for helping me!

 

I was brought up in a patriarchial religion and my parents used cry-it-out, scheduled feedings, harsh and inconsistant discipline etc. from birth. I was also one of many many siblings. It hasn't been easy for me to get in touch with my feelings and intuition and self-will since it didn't matter what I thought/felt/needed when I was growing up. The healing continues. I am energized to create space for children to have self-awareness and trust intuition and feel empowered to shape their own lives.

 

Thanks!!


I would be very wary of a "friendship" with this guy. It sounds like he's trying to keep one foot in the door.

 

Good luck with everything. Keep nurturing that intuition.

post #38 of 40

I just want to reiterate what some other women have said...you have described a textbook case of the introduction to an abusive relationship. Please hear what everyone is saying (and for what it's worth, a lot of the women who have called the abuse red flags unfortunately know what they're talking about first hand -- they're the core group of the surviving abuse forum.) If you keep on being friends with him, he will wear you down, and you will start dating him again. If you start dating him again, he's given every indication that he will be abusive, if not physically, then definitely emotionally.

One really strong warning bell is the fact that he doesn't respect your boundaries. You try to break it off, he doesn't let you, he does anything he can to keep a foot in the door. It's not healthy or respectful. Think of how you would react if you were dating a man and he broke it off with you. You might ask him to stay, but you eventually would respect that decision. Also, the blaming his emotional state on other people is textbook abuser.

Abuse rarely starts in the first weeks of relationships. In fact, the first weeks of an abusive relationship are often blissful. That's because abusers have this knack of being whatever you want them to be, for a short period of time. That's not their true self. Their true self emerges over time, and it's not pretty. You fall in love with someone that literally does not exist. And then you spend weeks, months or even years trying to find that person that was just a mirage.

You've listed a lot of red flags and gotten great feedback. Please don't close your eyes to those red flags. Almost everyone who walks into an abusive relationship goes through a phase where they refuse to look at the red flags because they're feeling too in love. Don't be willfully blind, if not for your sake, then for the sake of your son.

Please think very hard about exposing your son and yourself to that level of risk. Seriously, is it worth it? Also, you owe this man nothing. Please, please, please, don't hesitate to stop being his friend because you think it would somehow be rude or hurt his feelings. Your top priority is protecting your son. The longer you stay in an abusive relationship, the harder it is to get out.

I know that I'm pretty codependent, and I would really encourage you to check out a book like Codependent No More. Also, Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft is great.

Good luck. You are strong enough to protect your child and yourself. You deserve someone who will be a true partner to you, and this man will not contribute anything positive to your life.

 

I'm attaching a few links that may be helpful:

Warning signs that you're dating a loser -- this is a really great article for seeing early signs that point to future abuse.

http://www.drjoecarver.com/clients/49355/File/IdentifyingLosers.html

 

chart showing the honeymoon phase and cycle of violence -- from what you've stated, you're already living that cycle

http://www.coalitionagainstviolence.ca/The%20Cycle%20of%20Violence.htm

post #39 of 40

I don't buy the friendship thing. I think he's just trying to behave enough that you put your guard down. You know who he really is. If he isn't showing that right now, he's just acting when he is around you, waiting, biding his time, until you forget what he is really like.

post #40 of 40

I have an XBF that tried that too who was verbally abusive. It was just a ploy to try to get back with me. He would sort through tactic after tactic trying to find one that would keep me around. From professing his love, presents, hateful words, ploys for friendship, etc. Please be careful and consider cutting him out of your life altogether.

 

I fully believe that people have to want to change due to internal reasons; not external ones. I agree with the pp in that he sounds like a wolf in sheep's clothing. Eventually the costume will fall off again.

 

Both an XBF and my XH would bide their time for me to forget the bad stuff rather than REALLY work on fixing things.

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