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How do I fix our relationship?

By July 3, 2010 - 1:55pm
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I've been with my boyfriend for over a year now and I'm really fed up with the way things are. Everything was great at the beginning and I was really happy. However, lately I've begun to feel miserable and I'm not sure what to do. My boyfriend has two teenage kids which wasn't a problem for me. I don't have any kids but would like some one day. His kids were the only reason we argued and I realised that every time I asked him to talk to them about something that was affecting me or the house (I moved in), he would say I should tell them. His kids are a touchy subject because they have been through a lot (he's had to be both mum and dad for a while) and he compensates by letting them do whatever they like and my feelings are just not important. I understand that they will always come first, I just want a little support every once in a while. He is so preoccupied with other things that I feel I'm just there to tidy up after everyone. I've gained quite a bit of weight since we met and feel that this affects the way he sees me. We haven't been intimate for a while and I feel he isn't sexually attracted to me anymore. I can't remember the last time, we spent good quality time together. I'm slowly going insane because I've tried to talk to him on a few occasions and all I get is if you don't like it, you know where the door is which is very hurtful. I've put my heart and soul into this relationship and don't think we have a future. I just don't know how to walk away. Please help!!!

Add a Comment4 Comments

hi katie, i just joined the site so i don't know how long your question has been on but your relationship reminds me so much of mine in a way, i'd been with him for 2 years , he was seperated with 3 grown up boys who live with their mother ,he has been seperated for 17 years so no problem there (or so i imagined) , 5 months after we got together i became pregnant, things got worse, he wouldnt want to go out with me in public because of his son so they don tsee him with a new woman and a baby, i really couldnt get it because i did not steal him from his wife, anyway when i tell him something he with tell me either to understand him or we go our seperate ways...sounds similar?? anyway i decided i couldnt go on like this oh i also have a 13 year old from a previous relationship who thought i made a great choice and we couldn't be happier, he was neglegting his son because of his other sons and that was too much, u'll get used to being alone Katie, don't worry , i never thought i'll forget him but when i remember the selfishness he posessed i forget him very quick
hope to hear from you soon,
good luck
your's sincerly ,

November 19, 2010 - 10:18am

Hi Katie-

I'm so sorry you are in this situation. Let me ask you this: Why do you want to fix the relationship? You do not sound happy. He does not sound happy, either. What is there that makes it worthwhile for you?

One thing I know is one person cannot fix a relationship. It takes two people to make it work. So you can't fix it if he doesn't also want it to be better and work on it. You cannot do it for him. I agree with Crowsister that counseling may be of help; couples counseling if he is interested, but more importantly, counseling for you so you can learn why you allow others to treat you poorly.

When he says "you know where the door is" that is a pretty strong statement about his feelings on the relationship. It sounds like he is done with it. I think your question already has all of your answers in it, and if you go back and read what you wrote, you will see that.

Thank you for writing. I'm sure you will get more responses to this, as we have several very long, popular threads on this topic: http://www.empowher.com/relationships-family/community.

Good luck, Katie. You deserve to be happy. Stand up for yourself and you can make a better life for yourself.

July 5, 2010 - 6:36am

Dear Katie31

I feel so cross when I read that he says this to you - "you know where the door is" - that seems a hurtful way to control you and stop you asking for a proper two-way communication within your relationship. I feel that he is being disrespectful of you, at the very least. Children from a former relationship can always be a minefield, as I am sure you realised before you moved in - but that can be dealt with far more kindly than just telling you to talk to them, instead of discussing things with him. Sometimes we do not really wish to "do" anything, we just need to debrief somewhere safe and loving, and get the matter off our chest, discuss it, and move on. My perception is that he is not allowing for that at all, indeed, he may not be aware that is what you sometimes need. And of course that will NOT always be the case, sometimes you may feel the need to speak to them and change some part of how you all interact. Talking it over with your partner, their father, first; is a sensible thing to do as he may have suggestions and also he has a much deeper knowledge of them. I wonder how old they are, and if they ever see their mother? Is that a bitter point with them, that he is parted from her?

It seems to me that he feels that your relationship with his children is entirely up to you, and nothing to do with him, and that is not quite true. As the 'intruder' in the house, you will face all kinds of open and covert resistance from the others, simply because you are the newest, nothing to do with you, or how they feel about you, this is a human dynamic.

Worry and hurt and stress are really good at assisting us to gain weight - so helpful of them, eh! It really sucks that we tend to lose our balance with food when we are upset. Do you still work, have you any outside interests? Can you support yourself? Because one of the things that you can do is go through the door that he is obligingly pointing out to you, and get on with your life. If he loves and wants you, then it is up to him to work out how to get you back. He may not want you back - have you considered this, that he may no longer be happy in the relationship, and does not want to continue? This may be so? It may hurt dreadfully to acknowledge that is true, but if that is how matters lie then at least you know and you can start work on making the rest of your life fit and good for you?

If you do decide to leave him please be prepared to find out that this may be final - I always told my children never to gamble with something that they could not bear/afford to lose, you know? If you are not prepared to even consider the end of the relationship maybe you need to try very hard to get through to him whilst still living there. Maybe get professional help, see a Relationships Counsellor? The thing is, the best way to get value from that is if you both go, I think. Maybe you could you write him a letter, clearly and calmly telling him how much you love him and want the relationship to work, and where you feel that it is not meeting your needs? You could ask if there are parts that are not good for him; and ask if you can work together to solve these problems also? As I said before, do be prepared to hear that he wants out of the relationship altogether. I may be way off-base, but if he is showing you the door every time you approach him with problems, it may be that he is using that gambit out of habit; or because he doesn't know what else to do; or because he is 'relationship lazy' - that is, you don't like it, you do the work; or maybe he really wants you to go? Or any any number of other reasons that I don't know -

I wonder does he really know, truly understand, how unhappy you feel? If he is not prepared to listen, and he deflects all your appeals to talk with telling you to go, he may not really know how you feel. And a lot will depend on the relationships he has had before, and the one he grew up in. Some folk do repeat the insults and aggravations that they witnessed as children, not really knowing how to be otherwise - very sad for them and everyone around them.

Take care - consider what you stand to lose, and what you need from life, and what this relationship means to you. I feel really strong empathy for you in what appears to me to be an intolerable situation - wishing you a clear resolution to this, and peace and happiness ahead -

kind regards

July 5, 2010 - 3:42am
(reply to Crowsister)

Hi Crowsister,

Thank you very much for your advice. The children are 14 and 19 and they see their mum quite often. I think my boyfriend is very relationship lazy and does expect me to to the work.

He was in an unhappy marriage with their mum for a long time. She was cheating on him quite regularly before she left. He has trouble expressing his emotions and this is proving difficult because I want to know who he feels but he is not willing to open up a lot of the time. He is always telling me everything is fine.

He wants an easy life and I know he loves me but sometimes I wish he would show me the support, I'm desperately seeking. I will continue to do my best and be a good partner. I now have options if it all gets too much and I do need to leave.

Kind regards


July 22, 2010 - 12:17am
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