Originally Posted by frangipani2011
Averysmomma - wow. that is really food for thought...great insight on how he must feel. I am not sure he is wonderful in every other way :) but pretty good - very family oriented, decent, good job etc.. qualities that I have not found in many people in 10 years of dating. He is like most people - has good and bad qualities. The problem is I want him to make a commitment now, not wait for two years to think about whether he wants to get married. I want him to at least tell me that he is sure we will be together, and will do what it takes to make things work, or telling our common friends about me, or telling his children he is serious about me. The commitment does not have to be legal, but some demonstration that he will work through things. His response is that he believes a verbal commitment (his word) is as good as a bond, and the uncertainties we face over the next two years prevent him from doing that. I feel his unwillingness to make such a commitment might imply he does not value me enough which makes me insecure and brings out negative qualities in me. I feel the complex situation we face might result in one of us bailing if we do not make a commitment.
Hhmmm, well, a few of the things you've mentioned sort of open a different can of worms. If future complexity is going to make one of you bail, you're going to bail whether you're legally committed or not. If you are feeling a deep gut sense that you have to be worried about whether or not he's gonna stick around if things get tough...you need to really sit with that thought and pay attention to it. Is that feeling real? Or panic? If it's real, it's worth worrying about. I think that is more the issue than him agreeing to marry you as soon as his kids leave. You could stay with this man for a thousand years and never "tie the knot" - and have a partner so committed and loyal and loving to you that your love would be the envy of all who ever attempted to find happiness with another. The flip side of that coin, is that you could be married and talk of commitment and make promises until you were both blue in the face...and two years into this "marriage commitment" discover that he is a secret philanderer who is really good at lying.
The quality of a thing and the expressed mission of a thing are two separate issues. Is he walking the walk? I mean, missed phone calls aside....do you feel good about his current commitment to you? I know you want more, but CURRENTLY....is his level of commitment appropriate (by your standards) for the stage in the relationship you've reached? If so, you have to admit, he's walking the walk of where you are, not just talking the talk.....you want him to talk all sorts of talk about the future so you don't have to feel insecure and like you're hanging on for a barely expressed "maybe someday" type of future. You want to know where he is, what he's thinking. You don't want to waste two years of your life waiting for him to get his life with his kids figured out only to discover that he isn't really interested in the same future you are hoping for. I get that.
Your desire to hear him express his intention for the course of this relationship is completely valid. However, the first step in figuring out how to even express yourself to him, is going to have to be sitting with yourself and discovering what all of your feelings are, where they are stemming from and who should own them. You need to examine your feelings and sort out which are actual valid reactions to his behavior...and which are offshoots of those valid reactions...old psychological fall back positions learned from many years of worrying that this new guy is going to end up being a bum and leave you hanging, or whatever. You know? Just as HE has baggage...YOU also have baggage. What part of what you are feeling is YOUR baggage to own?
You are dealing with a guy who is having a hard time balancing his life and communicating.....what is HE dealing with? How do YOU interpret things? What kind of filters do you have in your brain....you know? There is nothing so sorry and sad as leaving someone...maybe even a few someones....who were really pretty great but you thought you would just never be able to jive perfectly with...only to realize that a lot of it was you. You know? I'm not saying that's what is going on here, I'm just saying that no one makes it to 53, married and divorced and dating again without bringing some baggage to the table. Hell, you don't make it to 25 without some baggage...depending on your childhood and life choices, maybe a LOT of baggage. EVERYONE has it.
The key to getting out of this or getting deeper into it.....is going to be honesty. Honesty with yourself, honesty with him. You say you don't want to waste your time. But who is wasting your time? Ultimately, you are. This man can't MAKE you stick around....if you're sticking around despite not wanting to because you are fearful of being alone again...well, whose is that to own? If things are not clear to you....seek clarity through honest communications. If you ACTUALLY CANNOT - after actual, honest, completely clear attempts on your behalf to get to the bottom of this - gain any insight into his intentions here...well, that just may be your answer. But if you want my honest, humble opinion, I think maybe the same thing about you that makes you turn kind of insecure when you feel less than valued, may touch on something deeper within you. It's possible that you need more hand holding than the average bear and he just doesn't get that. Maybe he thinks he is clearly explaining his intentions and you need more and he isn't understanding that.
Anyway, I'll wrap this up. The only remedy for this situation is total honesty. In order to be honest with him, you need to examine your own fears, let go of them, talk to him like a woman...pull no punches and try to see his responses for what they are and what they mean. in my minds eye, it goes something like this:
So look, I'm writing this so I can get all of my feelings down in as clear and concise a manner as possible.
I love you, you know I love you. I don't want to see my future without you in it...but I also want to know that your vision for our future is something I can wait for. I understand that you are trying to navigate a pretty precarious time of life with your kids right now, under circumstances which complicate everything quite a bit...and I can wait for that, I can put our plans for living together and getting married on a slower track to allow time for them to get ready to be adults and leave the nest. However, I have to know that after we're through this stage of getting our "baby birds" off and flying, the reward for my patience will be you, in all the ways I want you.
I want to be married to you, pretty soon. I'm thinking, the next three years.
I want to be living with you before we get married.
I want your children to know how important I am to you and that I'm not going anywhere, just as my kids know how important you are to me.
Please tell me clearly and with honesty, exactly how you feel about this plan. Look, neither of us is a spring chicken. We've been down this road before, we've been alone before, we've had grand plans fall through and great loves turn into resentment and fall apart. I don't want complication with you. I am no longer in a phase of my life where I can just hang on and hope. I have to forge my own path and look out for myself and my best interests. I think I want to forge a path to you, to deeper love and to a wonderful life together...but I have to know, simply and honestly put, where you stand.
I'm sorry for needing this assurance from you, please don't feel like I'm not serious or like, if your plan looks different from mine, I'm just gonna bail. It's not like that. I just need you to tell me where this train is headed, so that I can be sure that my commitment to seeing this through is safe for me and will bear the fruit I'm hoping for down the line.
All my love,
Throw it all out there. Be vulnerable. The worst thing that could happen, is you don't like the answer.....but if you don't like the answer, you weren't going to like it SOMETIME, anyway. Life always unfolds how it should...but that doesn't mean that we are to be passive in waiting. Trusting life to happen and waiting for life to happen are two different things. You will not be alone. You are not old. You are worthy of love, you will have love. Don't put all your eggs in one basket...lay them and watch them develop everywhere you go. Opportunities for happiness lie everywhere and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes....don't let fear or anything else, put blinders on you. Dream, but be realistic. Perfect, may not be perfect for you...just as perfect for you may not be perfect. See him for what and who he is and yourself the same way. This is all going to be okay, in the end...hell, everything is okay right now...you are merely engaged in that great work of life. It will not cease until you are dead. You will be figuring out what makes you happy and attempting to move toward it until the very moment you take your last breath. This struggling is normal and good. It means you are growing.
This post not edited. Sorry.