May 19, 2015

Ask Me Anything: Woman Needs to Kick Part Time Boyfriend to the Curb. {Weekly Advice Column}

uncommitted boyfriend

Dear Elephants,

Welcome to this week’s Ask Me Anything, where no question is out of bounds! To submit questions for next week, please email me at [email protected].

I look forward to hearing from you!

~ Erica


Dear Erica,

I am 30 yrs old. I had an arranged marriage nine years ago to an abusive man.

I have a son out of the marriage. I have been living with my parents for eight years now.  I have had a lot of difficulty in getting a divorce. I support my son and I have a job.

For the first five to six years of living away from my husband, I didn’t find the need for a partner. In the last two years, I have been feeling increasingly lonely. The men I come across are few and they are not interested in a committed relationship. I have had my share of heartbreaks.

I pick myself up to face the next dawn.

I met a relative of mine last December (2014). I was attracted to him. I told myself that I don’t want another heartache. I believe in tarot cards and based on a positive answer through tarot, I began talking to him.

We have been dating since January.

He is 14 years older than me. He has been married three times—the last marriage ended four years ago. He has two children from the third marriage and none from the other two. He is trying to get custody of his children and obtain a divorce. He has been alone most of his life.

Currently, he is going through the pressure of restoring his ancestral property which was sold illegally and has to live on his savings until he recovers the properties. He is looking at a real estate recovery business. The nature of his activity / business poses threats of some magnitude to his property and life.

The issue I am facing is this:

We live in two different cities, 470 km apart. We only get to meet once or twice a month. Staying in touch each day makes me feel emotionally secure, but he doesn’t give much importance to verbal expression.

He is a workaholic and admits he is self-centered.

Sometimes he goes into a spiritual retreat mode and tells me that I shouldn’t contact him until he calls. This makes me feel insecure though I understand he needs his space.

I am afraid I can’t contact him when I go through a difficult time and I need his emotional support. Even if I am going to face the situation alone physically, his words of comfort would go a long way in giving me support and strength.

Also, I am worried about his safety, given his nature of “activity.” In the last two days, I have assured myself that he was still alive when I checked his “last seen” time and date on watsapp.

He believes in the present and doesn’t talk about our future. We occasionally speak about our children. I have told him many times that I would care for his children as my own but he hasn’t mentioned my son even once. Maybe he would in reality, but I would feel more assured if he said it.

Occasionally I make it a point to talk to him about my son’s progress.

Given our marital complications,  he says talking about “our” marriage at this point is stressful. He is unsure if he wants marriage. A couple of his friends know that he is dating me but he likes to keep it as discrete as possible, given our conservative culture.

I had to go through a laprascopic surgery for an ectopic pregnancy during our relationship. We handled it with great difficulty and it was physically, emotionally and financially stressful for both of us.

At one point, out of stress, I was afraid we were going to break up.

I am emotional and anxious. I feel insecure and lonely. Even tarot cards are confusing me. I put him as a priority. I am not able to concentrate on my routine. I am pursuing my doctoral study which is nearly stagnant due to administration issues at the university. To add to it, I have issues at work (my job is at stake).

I am feeling frustrated and worthless. My mind is very loud and restless. I am afraid I might be hasty in my decisions.

I wish the romance could be revived in our relationship…I want a lot of love. He is trying his best I know. But I would love to be with him.

Both of us are imperfect in our own ways. I wish our love could bring about a magic in both our lives. I have come this far, and I want “US” to go ahead happily.

Please advise me,

~ Restless Mind

Dear Restless Mind,

I am going to answer you using lots of your own words, for you have all of the information you need already and perhaps simply needed to write it down in order to see it.

Here we go:

This guy that you wish to marry “doesn’t give much importance to verbal expression,” he is a “workaholic” and “admittedly self centered.” His “job” (in parentheses because he doesn’t actually have one) causes you extreme stress because you worry about his “activity” and whether it may actually cost him his life.

He won’t “talk about the future” and has “never mentioned your son even once.” (That right there would be a deal breaker for me.) He “won’t talk about marriage,” isn’t even sure he wants to get married, and wants to keep his relationship with you “discrete”—meaning, he won’t publicly acknowledge it.

He “sometimes goes into spiritual retreat mode,” meaning regardless of what’s going on with you you don’t have access to him for undetermined amounts of time. He almost broke up with you after you suffered an ectopic pregnancy with him.

You live 470 km apart and only get to see each other once or twice a month. He is still legally married to someone else (as are you) and is currently unemployed. He is also your relative, but I’m not sure how that does or doesn’t play into the situation given your culture.

You feel “emotional,” “anxious,” “insecure,” “needy,” “frustrated” and “worthless” with him.

Is there anything positive this guy adds to your life?

It doesn’t sound like it.

I understand that you desperately want to love and be loved, but you won’t find what you’re looking for here. Not only will you not find love, you will find the opposite—more pain and more disappointment.

Forget the tarot cards and deal with reality. Resolve to end this farce of a relationship for the sake of your son, if not yourself. You can, and should, do better. Also, strongly consider therapy as a means to try and understand why you have sold yourself so short and how to live a life and find a partner that will truly bring you joy.





Author: Erica Leibrandt

Editor: Renée Picard

Image: elijerma at Flickr 




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