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Hello all.

Am looking for some advice and guidance with what is reasonable / unreasonable in negotiating with my partner of 3 months.

I will try to keep it as brief as possible. The TLDR. version is I am worried about the type of contact my partner has continued to have with her old de facto partner.

We are a very new relationship of approx. 4 months and we moved in together 2 weeks ago. I know this might sound a bit to fast for many but there were a variety of reasons this occurred; other than we have fallen in love.

I am 50, she is 40 with two children 12,14. She was living with her previous partner for approx. 2yrs. He is not the biological father, he had died just over two years ago. There was a variety of issues leading to her wanting leave and move out and she had been planning to move on 1st jan before she had met me.

We had started dating and after approx. 2- weeks she told me she was still living her "ex". As he was providing accomodation and also caring for her children her plan was to leave after she had saved enough and also to allow the kids to have a christmas with him as they still consider him as a father figure as well as relationships with his own children.

To say I was shocked and challenged by this discovery is an understatement. Apparently he knew she was leaving and was dating other guys. My initial reaction was to end the relationship as it was very complicated. Obviously I changed my mind.

During our dating period I was constantly anxious and stressed about thoughts of what was actually going on with them. Building trust was very difficult for me during this time but I always felt confident in her presence she was telling the truth.

Anyway, we decided she would move in with me. It only took three days for me to be confronted with a very big red flag. She had come home from work very grumpy and during approx 30 minutes of helping prepare dinner for her and talking to her about her day etc she was being very distant and complaining about various things. I tried to remain upbeat and put it down top her being tired.

Then a few minutes Later I heard her laughing in another room and she was in her sons room talking to the ex laughing and joking etc.

I found this very hurtful and felt the need to escape and went outside for a walk. When I came back she asked what happened and I explained what had happened from my perspective and why it hurt that she had been grumpy one minute and happy the next with him.

According to her she needed to keep contact in order to facilitate visits for the children , especially her son as he is close to him and the ex's children and will be spending time with them still.

She was apologetic and affectionate to me but I was still feeling uncomfortable. In the morning I was woken early by her getting ready for work and I went to the kitchen to get some water and saw her phone. I knew her pin code and my anxiety got the better of me.

In looking through her SMS / phone calls I saw an sms between them after I had left where they joking she would have to kneel down to beg forgiveness she called me a sulking baby. I was shaking and feeling very upset. I couldn't believe she would violate our relationship like that.

I didn't confront her straight away but later that morning I brought up the idea of respectful communication and the idea of making sure there was no continued innapropriate contact going on between each others old relationships and offered to share my phone.

She explained that he was someone she had been expressing frustrations with for a long time and offered to let me see communication from that day onwards.

I also expressed a desire for her to limit communication with him to the bare essentials required to facilitate the visits of her son and for their to be no other friendship / chatting.

She accepted that.

Approx a week later I saw a 15minute phone call on her phone to him where she also shared photos of a new garden we had setup.

When I confronted her she said it was only to organise money repayment he owed and to show him she was fine without him as he had said she would not find anyone to as good as him

I was very upset again and asked her to limit conversations with him only while I was present. Which she agreed,

The whole next week was fine in this respect but yesterday she went shopping with daughter who was also wanting to stay with ex over night. When she dropped her off via train there was deliveries of parcels she had ordered previously and he offered to drive her an them back to our home. She told me via SMS this was happening.

I feel this was a breach of our agreement.

I didn't get upset with her and left things until this morning and we have had a conversation about it.

I essentially expressed disapointment, explained how difficult the whole process had been for me up them moving in and that the innnappropriate contact had eroded my trust. I asked her to help us find a way to conduct things in a way that allows for the pragmatic contact in relation to kids but also helps me feel less anxious and worried etc.

From her responses she was very open that she has no intention of ever returning to him and doesn't consider her on going contact to be a problem. She does admit the initial disrespectful contact was innopropriate. But She also verbalised that she doesn't like to feel I am trying to control her.

We left that conversation on a positive note with me reiterating I am not tryiing to make demands but wanting us to / her to help behave in a way that demonstrates care for the feeling of each other.


Would love to hear others feed back please

Last edited by Dajavude; 01/14/21 08:04 PM.
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While I can understand that you would feel threatened by your girl friend's communication with her ex-boyfriend/live-in partner, you are not married and therefore have apparently made no real commitment to each other. Dr. Harley wrote an excellent article on living together here. https://www.marriagebuilders.com/living-together-before-marriage-compatibility-test-or-curse.htm.


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In addition to LongWayFromHome's recommendation on the article, I would also read Buyers, Renters and Freeloaders The book is excellent.

Also, Dr. Harley says dating is an interview for marriage.


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Originally Posted by LongWayFromHome
While I can understand that you would feel threatened by your girl friend's communication with her ex-boyfriend/live-in partner, you are not married and therefore have apparently made no real commitment to each other. Dr. Harley wrote an excellent article on living together here. https://www.marriagebuilders.com/living-together-before-marriage-compatibility-test-or-curse.htm.





Originally Posted by BrainHurts
In addition to LongWayFromHome's recommendation on the article, I would also read Buyers, Renters and Freeloaders The book is excellent.

Also, Dr. Harley says dating is an interview for marriage.



Thank you both for providing related links for me to read. I generally agree with the tenants being expressed however Unfortunately we have chosen our current situation and so we really need to find a way to navigate within our current reality.

I'll see if i can get that book on my Kindle account.

I have "His needs her needs", "Love busters" and "Surviving an affair" - all books I purchased after I discovered Dr Harley Approx. 8 years at the end of my first marriage. I am currently re-reading them and have been trying to get my partner to read them as well but I have thus far been unsuccessful in encouraging her to do so.

Her job requires a long commute and is usually very tired when she gets home. Plus due to rostering has a 7 day work week on some occasions and then fills up the off days with tasks around helping getting our unit set up and still unpacking etc.

I am hopeful that she will reconsider over time as our life situation settles down and things becomes less tenuous and she has more free time. There is definitely elements of both of us being wary of the other while hoping we can build something permanent. There is a strong lovebank balance with both of us but I can see it being eroded by us not being on the same page in terms of decision making especially.

My immediate concern was in the mean time, managing the love busting nature of trying to gain reasonable contact boundries with her ex, while we are not on the same page in how we negotiate these things. I guess the ultimate answer for us both to get with the program. At present I have to work with what I have and hope she comes on board later.





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Your having moved in together sounds like a bad idea. Your girlfriend was dishonest with you about the fact that she was living with someone else when you were dating. Now she has moved in with you and still has a strong connection to him. It sounds very much as if she is looking or someone to provide her and the kids with a home first and foremost.

There should not be any unhappiness at such an early stage. You should take it as a sign that you rushed into things without knowing her very well, and that she isn't in love with you as much as you are with her. If she were, she would not be so close to the last guy. She would not have any trouble cutting ties with him now that she is with you.


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Originally Posted by SugarCane
Your having moved in together sounds like a bad idea. Your girlfriend was dishonest with you about the fact that she was living with someone else when you were dating. Now she has moved in with you and still has a strong connection to him. It sounds very much as if she is looking or someone to provide her and the kids with a home first and foremost.

There should not be any unhappiness at such an early stage. You should take it as a sign that you rushed into things without knowing her very well, and that she isn't in love with you as much as you are with her. If she were, she would not be so close to the last guy. She would not have any trouble cutting ties with him now that she is with you.


She told me after our second date. You could say she should have told me that upfront? I could have ended things then if I wasn't prepared to accept her word and trust her.

I have tried to practice balancing what she says with what she does, and while it is hard to be objective when emotions are concerned, she has demonstrated commitments and behaviours that are congruent with building a relationship with me.

I have had moments when I have wanted to pack and leave through frustration with a number of challenges - the underlying anxiety of this old relationship is what is fueling my inner turmoil and making it very hard for me to be in a calm state dealing with day to day stuff.

Making demands is not the solution. I can really only communicate how it makes me feel while being loving and caring towards her and the children in the hope of having her conduct things in an acceptable. The alternatives are to just leave or allow negative thinking that I am being used, taken advantage of and it will of course poison and destroy the relationship.

The reason I have posted is to get feedback on what expectations I should reasonably have in order to help things work for both of us.

I know that after Her husband died 2 years ago ( the childrens father) her 12 year old son has a relationship with this man and his family that she has wanted to allow him to maintain. I work from home three days per week. So the
son has been staying with the ex on the days that we both work. I have made the assumption that relationship will fade in time as we spend together.

For example, is that the right approach or doomed to facilitate an innapropriate emotional connection with her. Is it reasonable of me to expect her to cut ties completely with him to such an extent that the Children , in particular the son, is no longer able to maintain a connection?

That's the kind of feed back I am looking for. Maybe I am naïve to think we can make it work? What should I be asking for that I am not already or Should I just except it is impossible and leave?

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Originally Posted by Dajavude
I have had moments when I have wanted to pack and leave through frustration with a number of challenges - the underlying anxiety of this old relationship is what is fueling my inner turmoil and making it very hard for me to be in a calm state dealing with day to day stuff.

Making demands is not the solution. I can really only communicate how it makes me feel while being loving and caring towards her and the children in the hope of having her conduct things in an acceptable. The alternatives are to just leave or allow negative thinking that I am being used, taken advantage of and it will of course poison and destroy the relationship.

The reason I have posted is to get feedback on what expectations I should reasonably have in order to help things work for both of us.

I know that after Her husband died 2 years ago ( the childrens father) her 12 year old son has a relationship with this man and his family that she has wanted to allow him to maintain. I work from home three days per week. So the
son has been staying with the ex on the days that we both work. I have made the assumption that relationship will fade in time as we spend together.

For example, is that the right approach or doomed to facilitate an innapropriate emotional connection with her. Is it reasonable of me to expect her to cut ties completely with him to such an extent that the Children , in particular the son, is no longer able to maintain a connection?

That's the kind of feed back I am looking for. Maybe I am naïve to think we can make it work? What should I be asking for that I am not already or Should I just except it is impossible and leave?

I can see from what you are asking that you don't find the answers you have received so far to be relevant. They are not what you're looking for. You want answers to the questions you want answered, whereas we are trying to get you to take the Marriage Builders approach of looking at the relationship as a whole. You want to know whether it is worth fighting "negative thinking" and putting up with your discomfort with her other relationship until it dies. You want to know whether it is reasonable of you to ask her to cut ties with her ex, and whether, as a consequence of her doing so, it is reasonable to make her 12 year-old son to cut ties with him. If she has really ended her relationship with him, then why not let her communicate with him so that her son can benefit from his own friendship with that family? Is it selfish and spiteful of you to feel so jealous that you would disadvantage a 12 year-old just so that you can feel secure? Perhaps you should be the grown up and let the relationship continue so that the boy, and indirectly the mother whom you love, does not suffer. After all, that poor boy has suffered the loss of his biological father, and now the breakdown of the family life he enjoyed until recently while she lived with with this man,

I think that, for the regular, long-term posters that have replied to you, that's not a question we can answer because that is not the way we would have developed this relationship in the first place. That's because, as LongWayFromHome and BrainHurts explained, we've learned not to live together in renter or freeloader relationships, as you and your girlfriend seem to have done. You might be a renter, as you seem prepared to put in a certain amount of work if you think she will do likewise. However, your girlfriend seems to be a freeloader, happy to take from both men whatever they are willing to give, but unwilling to invest anything at all in either relationship.

The things is, it's okay to be a freeloader while dating, and it's okay to be a renter when the relationship becomes serious, but this site is Marriage Builders, and here we work on building marriages - not living-together arrangements - to last a lifetime. A living-together relationship is the ultimate renters/freeloaders relationship, and it isn't a marriage.

Having made horrible mistakes in our relationships and marriages for years, and having learned about Dr Harley's approach, which has completely converted us into being buyers, we would never have moved in with anyone after having read here, as you have done through two previous relationships covering several years. What you should have done is dated for much longer, in order to get to know this woman well. You should have avoided an early "renters" commitment, especially since she has young children. You should have learned more about the blended family issues that blight so many marriages. On the one hand, in her case there is no biological father so that might seem simpler, but there are still issues of the parent's torn loyalties between her children and her new partner. And in her case, there is a still a father-figure in the picture, causing the issues that you are facing with her son.

You have only been living together two weeks and yet you "have had moments when I have wanted to pack and leave through frustration with a number of challenges". This is a sign that you entered into this arrangement much too quickly and naïvely.

There is no need for you to issue ultimatums to get your girlfriend and her son to end that relationship, and there is no need for you to think that the relationship is impossible. In these very early days, and while her kids are still young and still tied to the former partner, you need to go back to dating so that the relationship is just between you and your girlfriend. From that position you can see the progress of her relationship with the other man, and if it continues to disturb you, and can walk away. Her son can have the relationship he seems to need, which is really none of your business. He might outgrow that relationship, or he might keep it going for the years until he leaves home. At some later point you can assess the potential for getting married.

I can only reiterate that living together is a bad idea and you should not have done it. You should separate your households. That does not necessarily mean breaking up with your girlfriend, unless she insists on that. It means dating for a long time and getting to see whether you are on the same page about how marriage should work. It will only work (i.e. make you happy) without her having a relationship with an ex. If she is unwilling to end completely her relationship with her ex on marriage to you, then she should not marry anyone, and you should not marry her.

And never live together, That is a terrible arrangement. I thought we knocked that into your head when you posted here about your last, failed, living-together relationship.


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Originally Posted by SugarCane
Originally Posted by Dajavude
I have had moments when I have wanted to pack and leave through frustration with a number of challenges - the underlying anxiety of this old relationship is what is fueling my inner turmoil and making it very hard for me to be in a calm state dealing with day to day stuff.

Making demands is not the solution. I can really only communicate how it makes me feel while being loving and caring towards her and the children in the hope of having her conduct things in an acceptable. The alternatives are to just leave or allow negative thinking that I am being used, taken advantage of and it will of course poison and destroy the relationship.

The reason I have posted is to get feedback on what expectations I should reasonably have in order to help things work for both of us.

I know that after Her husband died 2 years ago ( the childrens father) her 12 year old son has a relationship with this man and his family that she has wanted to allow him to maintain. I work from home three days per week. So the
son has been staying with the ex on the days that we both work. I have made the assumption that relationship will fade in time as we spend together.

For example, is that the right approach or doomed to facilitate an innapropriate emotional connection with her. Is it reasonable of me to expect her to cut ties completely with him to such an extent that the Children , in particular the son, is no longer able to maintain a connection?

That's the kind of feed back I am looking for. Maybe I am naïve to think we can make it work? What should I be asking for that I am not already or Should I just except it is impossible and leave?

I can see from what you are asking that you don't find the answers you have received so far to be relevant. They are not what you're looking for. You want answers to the questions you want answered, whereas we are trying to get you to take the Marriage Builders approach of looking at the relationship as a whole. You want to know whether it is worth fighting "negative thinking" and putting up with your discomfort with her other relationship until it dies. You want to know whether it is reasonable of you to ask her to cut ties with her ex, and whether, as a consequence of her doing so, it is reasonable to make her 12 year-old son to cut ties with him. If she has really ended her relationship with him, then why not let her communicate with him so that her son can benefit from his own friendship with that family? Is it selfish and spiteful of you to feel so jealous that you would disadvantage a 12 year-old just so that you can feel secure? Perhaps you should be the grown up and let the relationship continue so that the boy, and indirectly the mother whom you love, does not suffer. After all, that poor boy has suffered the loss of his biological father, and now the breakdown of the family life he enjoyed until recently while she lived with with this man,

I think that, for the regular, long-term posters that have replied to you, that's not a question we can answer because that is not the way we would have developed this relationship in the first place. That's because, as LongWayFromHome and BrainHurts explained, we've learned not to live together in renter or freeloader relationships, as you and your girlfriend seem to have done. You might be a renter, as you seem prepared to put in a certain amount of work if you think she will do likewise. However, your girlfriend seems to be a freeloader, happy to take from both men whatever they are willing to give, but unwilling to invest anything at all in either relationship.

The things is, it's okay to be a freeloader while dating, and it's okay to be a renter when the relationship becomes serious, but this site is Marriage Builders, and here we work on building marriages - not living-together arrangements - to last a lifetime. A living-together relationship is the ultimate renters/freeloaders relationship, and it isn't a marriage.

Having made horrible mistakes in our relationships and marriages for years, and having learned about Dr Harley's approach, which has completely converted us into being buyers, we would never have moved in with anyone after having read here, as you have done through two previous relationships covering several years. What you should have done is dated for much longer, in order to get to know this woman well. You should have avoided an early "renters" commitment, especially since she has young children. You should have learned more about the blended family issues that blight so many marriages. On the one hand, in her case there is no biological father so that might seem simpler, but there are still issues of the parent's torn loyalties between her children and her new partner. And in her case, there is a still a father-figure in the picture, causing the issues that you are facing with her son.

You have only been living together two weeks and yet you "have had moments when I have wanted to pack and leave through frustration with a number of challenges". This is a sign that you entered into this arrangement much too quickly and naïvely.

There is no need for you to issue ultimatums to get your girlfriend and her son to end that relationship, and there is no need for you to think that the relationship is impossible. In these very early days, and while her kids are still young and still tied to the former partner, you need to go back to dating so that the relationship is just between you and your girlfriend. From that position you can see the progress of her relationship with the other man, and if it continues to disturb you, and can walk away. Her son can have the relationship he seems to need, which is really none of your business. He might outgrow that relationship, or he might keep it going for the years until he leaves home. At some later point you can assess the potential for getting married.

I can only reiterate that living together is a bad idea and you should not have done it. You should separate your households. That does not necessarily mean breaking up with your girlfriend, unless she insists on that. It means dating for a long time and getting to see whether you are on the same page about how marriage should work. It will only work (i.e. make you happy) without her having a relationship with an ex. If she is unwilling to end completely her relationship with her ex on marriage to you, then she should not marry anyone, and you should not marry her.

And never live together, That is a terrible arrangement. I thought we knocked that into your head when you posted here about your last, failed, living-together relationship.


Thanks for taking the time to provide feedback. I realise it must be frustrating when a solution to a situation seems obvious to you but is not practiced by others. 🙂

There are many reasons why I feel returning to dating is not possible now. Of course I could simply insist I am going to leave and want to revert to dating. I would like to think that could be a possible transition but the amount of drama and trauma that would cause as well as the risk it could lead to the end of the relationship, for me is not worth it. I would rather work within the reality of the situation we have committed to now, for better or worse. 😬

Hence the context of the advise, I am asking for help in navigating the ship in such a way as that we both eventually have a shared vision and understanding of MB principles and move towards getting married. Ultimately those things are more important than whether we are married now.

I appreciate your perspective on her son and his relationship with the ex. That is also my gut feeling; I don't want to create or cause more heartache for them. I was reaching out because of the conflicting thoughts and emotions I am having about how to car for and protect them while also feeling safe and secure within the relationship. While it is new and raw there is a tendency for me want a quick fix and have kneejerk reactions to things when I should try to step back and be more patient, as you say, and wait for things to unfold in their natural course.

The resolution I have made with myself is to practice love and acceptance of things and avoid reactions that create LB drama. In this way I hope to create to a desire for her to care for things that are important to me.

I would also like advice on how to encourage her to read the books?

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Originally Posted by Dajavude
The resolution I have made with myself is to practice love and acceptance of things and avoid reactions that create LB drama. In this way I hope to create to a desire for her to care for things that are important to me.

Well, if you've decided that's the solution, I hope it works.

Originally Posted by Dajavude
I would also like advice on how to encourage her to read the books?

Just ask her to read them!


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Originally Posted by BrainHurts
In addition to LongWayFromHome's recommendation on the article, I would also read Buyers, Renters and Freeloaders The book is excellent.

Also, Dr. Harley says dating is an interview for marriage.

Did you read this yet? Do you see your GF as a freeloader?


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Originally Posted by BrainHurts
Originally Posted by BrainHurts
In addition to LongWayFromHome's recommendation on the article, I would also read Buyers, Renters and Freeloaders The book is excellent.

Also, Dr. Harley says dating is an interview for marriage.

Did you read this yet? Do you see your GF as a freeloader?


Have purchased not read yet. Based on Definitions I would consider us both buyers. Except for the fact she has not read the MB material yet.

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There was another disrespectful slight levelled at me today and was attacked further when I called her on it.

I have since packed and left

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How did it deteriorate so quickly from your not being able to accept our advice to separate your households and go back to dating, to packing your stuff and leaving? What "disrespectful slight" could possibly have led to that?

Are you going to establish a dating relationship with her now, or do you consider yourselves to have broken up?


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Originally Posted by Dejavude
Anyway, we decided she would move in with me


Didn’t she move into your place? Why then, are you the one that moved out?


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Originally Posted by SugarCane
How did it deteriorate so quickly from your not being able to accept our advice to separate your households and go back to dating, to packing your stuff and leaving? What "disrespectful slight" could possibly have led to that?

Are you going to establish a dating relationship with her now, or do you consider yourselves to have broken up?


There have been numerous disrespectful incidents and each time has almost always resulted in her not apologising nor genuinely acknowledging the hurt or that she was in the wrong.

If you read my first post I described a very hurtful SMS between them 3days after she had moved in.

She never apologised for that.

I have had to put it down in moment mistake by her and try to forgive.

Yesterday she was sending me photos of 2nd hand furniture she wanted my opinion on while she was on train to work. I work from home. I had spent all weekend running around looking at furniture and other errands for her. I tried to remind her I have to work and maybe she could spend someif her time negotiating the arrangements for the items .

She started getting a bit cranky and called me. She said I can do it in my spare time. During the call I tried to explain I was happy to help but we should equally spend our time organising those things.

She got more uppity and the "fine I can do it myself" thing.

I tried to say I am happy to help don't be silly. But she then said she can do it herself but I might not like the way she gets it done.

I knew she meant contacting the ex for help.

I asked what she meant and she didn't say.

So I told her I don't like threats and not to threaten me about him again. She denied she was threatening me so I hung up.

I then got a whole string text messages telling me I was over reacting and that I creating a problem being threatened by the ex.

I told her it disrespectful and she was out of line.

I asked her to think about it and see if she can see why I would be upset by that.

Of course I got more attacks and no acknowledging from her.

I realised she was not going to change with me asking. I have already asked her numerous times to read the books. I just felt it was hopeless and
packedd my things and left her a letter.

Told her I loved her, I want to stay but there needs to be changes. I explained disrespect is unacceptable and that I hoped she could reflect on the issue. But I am not staying in mean time.

I got SMS later. She expressed love and disappointment but no acknowledging a need to change anything or desire to talk about it.

Basically a good bye message.

I could probably apologise to try to fix situation but I would just be back in same stressful anxiety ridden state

There ya go.

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Originally Posted by BrainHurts
Originally Posted by Dejavude
Anyway, we decided she would move in with me


Didn’t she move into your place? Why then, are you the one that moved out?


COnfusing isn't it.

So when we first met online, started chatting then talking on phone I mentioned I was looking fior a new place to live due to noise issues where I was renting. We had not met or arranged any dates at this stage. She mentioned she had a unit that was vacant and I could rent a room if I was interested. I think that was her planned location for moving in Jan but I didn't know any of that stuff at the time. This was in beginning of october.

I kind of thought it was strange to offer to a stranger that might end up dating but it was a good deal for me and I got free access to the whole unit for the going rate of a standard Room / share rental in the area.

So short answer is she owns the unit.


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So what's the status of the relationship now? Is it over, or is there still some chance of dating?


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Originally Posted by SugarCane
So what's the status of the relationship now? Is it over, or is there still some chance of dating?


I don't know. She has reacted like it is over. Understandable given I left.

This will be second night apart and I already miss them 🥺

I want to reach out because I know her ego will not be letting her but I am afraid it will be the same.

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If you are as interested in Marriage Builders as you seem to be, now would be the time for you to rebuild your relationship using MB concepts. Begin by dating her again. Do not live with anyone again without being married. Explore carefully each other's attitudes and values. Do what you should be doing at the dating stage, and do not make the same decisions you would make if you were married. The blended family issue gives you great challenges, and you should leave her to bring up her kids the way she wants.


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Originally Posted by SugarCane
If you are as interested in Marriage Builders as you seem to be, now would be the time for you to rebuild your relationship using MB concepts. Begin by dating her again. Do not live with anyone again without being married. Explore carefully each other's attitudes and values. Do what you should be doing at the dating stage, and do not make the same decisions you would make if you were married. The blended family issue gives you great challenges, and you should leave her to bring up her kids the way she wants.

She doesn't want to reconcile

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I'm sorry; you must be very disappointed.

How old are your own kids now? Do you have a good relationship with them?

I take it the relationship you came here with in 2015 ended at that time? Are there any issues remaining from it?

I'm just trying to establish whether you can start a new relationship (some day) with a clean slate.


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Originally Posted by SugarCane
I'm sorry; you must be very disappointed.

How old are your own kids now? Do you have a good relationship with them?

I take it the relationship you came here with in 2015 ended at that time? Are there any issues remaining from it?

I'm just trying to establish whether you can start a new relationship (some day) with a clean slate.


My girls are 21 and 23 now. We are close but live quite far apart at the moment.

There are no issues from old relationship from 2015. We have no contact.

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So I decided to travel to visit family in my home town 6hrs drive away.

When I arrived I received a SMS from her about wanting some personal computer files I saved from a hard drive for her.

I thought it was odd she would msg after wanting to end contact.

I said I was happy to help of course because it would allow us to regain trust again etc.

But if she wanted no more contact she could easily take to another IT store .

10minutes later she rang me to tell me some random thing about phone bill. We spoke for about 3mins . It was very strange that she was talking to me like a normal conversation like nothing has happened.

Then an hour later she rang again and we spoke for 2hrs.

It seems like she might have started to forgive me.

During the chat she actually mentioned that maybe we had rushed things. I took opportunity to suggest she might like to read the books now but she is still refusing to even consider it. So frustrating OMG.

It was a pleasant surprise for her to reach out after I thought I might not hear from her again.

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What do you conclude from her reaching out? Do you think she wants to get back together with you?


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Originally Posted by SugarCane
What do you conclude from her reaching out? Do you think she wants to get back together with you?


I think so.

l I asked if this meant she had forgiven me. She just said she had a headache and didn't want to talk about it.

I suspect she is feeling very hurt and doesn't want to let her guard down.

I kept pressing later in conversation and eventually got a response along the lines of " you will be back to square one"

I guess there is hope she might soften in time if she can see I am genuine

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This morning we exchanged a good morning SMS then she rang me and little while later while i was out having a walk.

She said she had decided that she needed two weeks of no contact to think and process things. My initial reaction was to say that in my experience that usually means another guy or wanting to see some one else. That if she is not sure now then that probably means it is a no.

We spoke about our mutual love and care for each other and the fact that we had hurt each other and how we might be able to handle it in future.

I again raised the request of reading some of the MB books but she again refused point blank.

But she was adament she felt we both needed to spend time to decide what we really wanted. I told her I knew what I wanted but I would respect her wishes.

Part of me wants to be kind and patient and see it as a healing process for her.

Another part of me doesn't want to be in limbo for two weeks and wants to get on with either healing things or grieving.

In speaking to my brother and sister they both think I am being too nice - to def not contact her and to even just say that she should decide now or just move on.


This evening she called - I didn't answer and she left a message about a furniture thing she had been contacted about. She didn't need to contact me.

I feel like she is just trying to punish me for two weeks. Should the refusal to even look at the books be grounds to just give up on this?

Not really sure how to handle her to be honest

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Your situation has moved from the original problem where you were living with your girlfriend and she had contact with her ex. I'm not sure whether you are looking for advice with the new situation, since you haven't asked a question.

Do you feel that you can have a dating relationship with her now that you have separated? Do you think she wants one with you?


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Originally Posted by SugarCane
Your situation has moved from the original problem where you were living with your girlfriend and she had contact with her ex. I'm not sure whether you are looking for advice with the new situation, since you haven't asked a question.

Do you feel that you can have a dating relationship with her now that you have separated? Do you think she wants one with you?



I don"t know now about her as she has imposed a two week no contact plan

Oneida the main reasons for moving in together so soon was she does not want to be alone.

I suggested she move into unit and I move out at first but she was adamant she wanted me there with her.

I cannot see her being interested in dating. I think she will either forgive me me or end relationship.

I am feeling really sad now because I want to heal and rebuild things now and get my sanity back. Or end things so I can start grieving and moving on.

I took two weeks off work thinking it would be the end but ended up realising I had over reacted and wanted to reconcile.

Do you think her two week thing is genuine?

Why would she refuse to talk one day the reach out to me the next to be on phone for two hours then decide to have two weeks of no contact?

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So now i am really conflicted.

She contacted me today a few times and finally we discussed things seriously; we both agreed there was fault on both sides and needed to work out how to avoid making the same mistakes.

After 2hrs or so she ended up saying she wanted me to come back!!! She wants me to promise I will stay with her no matter what happens. So she definitely wants a life long commitment.

This was a major shift in her position from before. I took the opportunity to gingerly raise the question of considering to read a couple of the MB books. OMG, she just point blank refuses to even consider it!!! I just don't understand why. it makes no sense.

When I pressed on the books she got more agitated and was prepared to walk away if i made an issue of it.

This woman is so frustrating. She is lovely in so many ways. I just want us on the same page with handling the relationship stuff. I love her and don't want to lose her over this.

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Are you going to move back?


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Originally Posted by SugarCane
Are you going to move back?


I know you're gonna say not to do that. It is very likely she would not agree to that and see it as me trying to cause drama etc. Especially now.

Things are very fragile now. I am torn between going back and finding some way to introduce the MB stuff to her. She feels like I am trying to force her and make it a condition for reconciliation. She rejected it completely and was prepared to end things because she feels she has gone far enough in forgiving me for leaving.

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You didn't answer my question!


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Originally Posted by SugarCane
You didn't answer my question!


Yes

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Originally Posted by Dajavude
Originally Posted by SugarCane
You didn't answer my question!


Yes

Did you read the article that was posted to you about living together?

What’s going to be different this time?


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Originally Posted by BrainHurts
Originally Posted by Dajavude
Originally Posted by SugarCane
You didn't answer my question!


Yes

Did you read the article that was posted to you about living together?

What’s going to be different this time?


I am hoping to get my partner on board with the MB concepts in Love Busters and His Needs Her needs. I have them in kindle form but she prefers real books so my plan is to get the real books and just have them lying around in plain view for her to be able to pick up.

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Your girlfriend has indicated pretty strongly she has no interest in reading MB materials. Instead of annoying her by bringing up marriage builders frequently, why not consider reading them thoroughly yourself and then implementing them on your own? Just do it one-sided for a while and see how she responds. Make sure you understand what love busters are and eliminate them completely. Be affectionate and conversant with her. Be nice to her kids.

What did you think of the Buyers, Renters, and Freeloaders thread?


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Originally Posted by LongWayFromHome
Your girlfriend has indicated pretty strongly she has no interest in reading MB materials. Instead of annoying her by bringing up marriage builders frequently, why not consider reading them thoroughly yourself and then implementing them on your own? Just do it one-sided for a while and see how she responds. Make sure you understand what love busters are and eliminate them completely. Be affectionate and conversant with her. Be nice to her kids.

What did you think of the Buyers, Renters, and Freeloaders thread?


Thanks for the tips. I have read the books a few times over the years. I have been struggling to maintain a completely giving nature as even if I try to stay in a democratic respectful state i end up having to sacrifice to keep the peace and her happy; or happy enough.

I have observed her coming to a more conciliatory / accomodating position on things of her own accord but her natural way of negotiating things is agressive dictatorial methods and escalation of behaviour to get what she wants. Resistance from me is often viewed as a challenge and exacerbates and entrenches her opposite position rather than trying to find mutually acceptable solutions.

I am going to try to manifest as much lovebank protecting behaviour as possible and hope she is willing to engage on this stuff over time. I just purchased a copy of His needs / her needs and Lover busters. WHen they arrive will just leave them in view somewhere and not say anything.

I read the Buyers , renters , free loaders thread stuff. I can see the logic and can also see the behaviour we have been inflicting on each other. I basically got to the complete withdrawal state and left a week and bit ago. Since returning monday. we have slowly reconnected and can feel we are rebuilding our trust for one another again.

The Ex had apparently gone into over drive in trying to encourage her to come back and offering to help her with various things once he discovered I had left. Seems my spider senses were pretty well on the money about him and not wanting them to be in contact more than necessary.

In any event, she had refused his offers even when she was refusing to talk to me for most of the week. She had told him apparently that there was no love from her just friendship. When he found out she had agreed to reconcile with me he apparently had a dummy spit and told her he didn't want any more contact from her unless it was perfunctory stuff relating to Kids spending time at his place.

In discussing with me she had said she realises now it was unfair to him to try to keep as friend when he was hoping for something more and that it was better for us that it had turned out that way.

I really would have preferred her to have practiced that level of respectful disconnection by herself but I guess this way is better than me struggling with the urge to demand it all the time and instead have it poison my trust for her.

Now I feel much more relaxed that her focus is us and not being pushed back to him.

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I'm a bit mystified as to why you are trying so hard to make this work when the relationship has several land mines and red flags. Dating is a time to find out about a person, to test the relationship, have fun together, discover whether there are shared values. Dating is when you should be having fun while testing relationships. This is the time to be a "Freeloader," to see if you like each other more or less just as you are without making many changes. If you find you are not really suited, rather than needing to adjust to each other, as one would if in a married committed relationship, you can easily move on to another person. This is healthy dating.

I would personally find it terribly annoying if my husband left out books for me to read, hoping I would do my part to better myself. Perhaps your girlfriend will feel differently, and for your sake, I hope she does.

At this point in your relationship, you and she could be discussing the Policy of Joint Agreement to see where she stands on negotiation and thoughtfulness in marriage. You might win her over, but if she persists in attempting to get her own way at your expense, this is a big red flag.


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Originally Posted by LongWayFromHome

At this point in your relationship, you and she could be discussing the Policy of Joint Agreement to see where she stands on negotiation and thoughtfulness in marriage. You might win her over, but if she persists in attempting to get her own way at your expense, this is a big red flag.


This and Love busters are the two biggest issues. She has a very swift temper (filipina) and stays in her sulky tantrum state even when I try to cajole her out. Sometimes her swift anger catches me offguard and I am dragged into a ego response before I know it. Things don't go well when this happens but I find myself caught between being attentive and sensitive to her then blind sides by unwarranted angry outbursts.

We had almost three days of repairing our closeness and she attacked me out of the blue in front of the kids calling me a hypocrite and being quite rude and disrespectful for nothing.

I just left the room and a minute later she came after me and asked what was wrong. I told her that I hadn't done anything to warrant being attacked, It seemed like she was just trying to create drama and sabotage things.

She apologised which was a very new thing for me to hear.

later that night we were going to bed and saying goodnight in the dark while she recounted a frustration with her daughter. I tried to make a joke about the incident and she angrily snapped at me and recanted her apology and rolled over away from me.

I tried to cajole her and eventually got frustrated and angry back at her. This didn't go down well and I quickly realised my mistake and apologised but it was too late - she used that as double down reason.

I didn't sleep at all well because I wanted to mend things before sleeping. In the morning she was happy and gave me a hug and kiss and apologised for the drama.

I need to find a way not feel so hurt at her out bursts.

I realise she has a lot of pent up resentment at me and historical resentment and pain from her previous abusive marriage.

I digress - I would love it if she became aware of the destructiveness of anger and helped us by trying the POJA. I can only try my best.

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The remedy for this last kind of fight: never have a discussion over anything after 21:00.
Nothing sensible is ever achieved and everyone gets angry and aggravated and after that you wonder what it was all about the next morning.
Just say that you have to sleep on it.


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And I agree with everyone, that you have to think things through.
The relationship progressed very quickly, which can be a red flag. Also there is her temper and even more so, her inclination to be unreceptive to your point of view.

At this stage in the relationship, people are still on their best behaviour. This includes you, of course. The intenseness is concerning.

Just have a moment every day to think things through and try to look at things as if you were your aunt, giving you advice.


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Originally Posted by happyheart
And I agree with everyone, that you have to think things through.
The relationship progressed very quickly, which can be a red flag. Also there is her temper and even more so, her inclination to be unreceptive to your point of view.

At this stage in the relationship, people are still on their best behaviour. This includes you, of course. The intenseness is concerning.

Just have a moment every day to think things through and try to look at things as if yo

u were your aunt, giving you advice.


I am trying to not hold onto drama in my mind and let her be grumpy when she is tired etc.

I discovered she changed her phone pun in last 24hrs so now I am feeling paranoid about what was the real reason for the random sabotaging drama

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Originally Posted by Dajavude
I discovered she changed her phone pun in last 24hrs so now I am feeling paranoid about what was the real reason for the random sabotaging drama

Are you going to do anything about this?


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Originally Posted by SugarCane
Originally Posted by Dajavude
I discovered she changed her phone pun in last 24hrs so now I am feeling paranoid about what was the real reason for the random sabotaging drama

Are you going to do anything about this?


I raised it. She wants to keep her privacy.

I am going to offer her mine and let her decide.

What is reasonable alternative - I can't demand it.

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No, you can't demand it.

If she is keeping her friendship going with her ex in private, can you accept that?


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Originally Posted by SugarCane
No, you can't demand it.

If she is keeping her friendship going with her ex in private, can you accept that?


No

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Originally Posted by Dajavude
Originally Posted by SugarCane
No, you can't demand it.

If she is keeping her friendship going with her ex in private, can you accept that?


No

Then this may be a huge red flag. Maybe you shouldn't get back together?


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Originally Posted by BrainHurts
Originally Posted by Dajavude
Originally Posted by SugarCane
No, you can't demand it.

If she is keeping her friendship going with her ex in private, can you accept that?


No

Then this may be a huge red flag. Maybe you shouldn't get back together?


You are probably right

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Originally Posted by Dajavude
Originally Posted by BrainHurts
Originally Posted by Dajavude
Originally Posted by SugarCane
No, you can't demand it.

If she is keeping her friendship going with her ex in private, can you accept that?


No

Then this may be a huge red flag. Maybe you shouldn't get back together?


You are probably right



On the plus side though she is not hiding her phone, is happily leaving it out in plain view, not hiding her screen when I come past or near, and even offered to show me the recent SMS history with him which I declined because of the song and dance she made about how important her privacy was to her.

We spent most of the day together and she is not making any effort to hide her use of the phone, go into other rooms etc so it seems like there are no other obvious red flags on that front.

I would prefer to be free to check with her permission when I feel uncomfortable about her behaviour but I guess the current state is a reasonable compromise.

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It's hard to know how to respond to your posts, because, once again, you haven't really asked a question.

Are you happy with the way the relationship is now?


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Originally Posted by SugarCane
It's hard to know how to respond to your posts, because, once again, you haven't really asked a question.

Are you happy with the way the relationship is now?


We are spending lots of time together and she is being very affectionate

But the ex has msg this morning with a derogatory joking comment about me which she showed me and said she was going to ignore.

I challenged her as to why would she accept and not challenge herself and she said she feels she has caused enough pain to him by leaving.

😕

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Originally Posted by Dajavude
Originally Posted by SugarCane
It's hard to know how to respond to your posts, because, once again, you haven't really asked a question.

Are you happy with the way the relationship is now?


We are spending lots of time together and she is being very affectionate

But the ex has msg this morning with a derogatory joking comment about me which she showed me and said she was going to ignore.

I challenged her as to why would she accept and not challenge herself and she said she feels she has caused enough pain to him by leaving.

😕

So another red flag that she still wants to be in contact with her ex. Do you see this?


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Originally Posted by BrainHurts
Originally Posted by Dajavude
Originally Posted by SugarCane
It's hard to know how to respond to your posts, because, once again, you haven't really asked a question.

Are you happy with the way the relationship is now?


We are spending lots of time together and she is being very affectionate

But the ex has msg this morning with a derogatory joking comment about me which she showed me and said she was going to ignore.

I challenged her as to why would she accept and not challenge herself and she said she feels she has caused enough pain to him by leaving.

😕

So another red flag that she still wants to be in contact with her ex. Do you see this?


Yep. I was processing this still while we were shopping; that if the communication was supposedly over she could tell him to bugger off. Or if they were just "friends" why not share the news that everything is going great with us?

Not just silence.

He had msg'g about her son's first day of high school.

Then he had msg'd about me calling me " drama guts" or something like that.

That was the msg she showed me and was going to ignore.

So I was letting it sit to see if I wanted the drama of challenging further. I really just want her cut off of her own accord. I honestly feel that she genuinely wants to be with me but I just can't not feel annoyed and anxious about their contact.

Anyway

While we were shopping he tried calling her twice!!!

Something in me just snapped and I just walked back to the car. I realised that I was not going to have any peace while ever that [censored] is still hanging around.

When she came to the car I explained that leaving the SMS un answered made me uncomfortable and that while ever she allowed communication with him there will always be drama manifesting with us.

She asked what I wanted her to do? I said I did not think I should have to explain or ask for her to create the appropriate disconnection from him;
irrespective of whetherr she was trying to be kind to him, she was damaging our relationship and my trust everytime she prioritised him.

She responded to his msg that we were together and had taken her son to school together.

She said she did not want to cause anymore drama for us and then blocked him on her phone so that I could see.

I am happy with that albeit I wish she had manifest that unilaterally as a basic respectful courtesy before it had caused so much suffering.

She later acknowledged that the blow up leading to me leaving was partly her fault; something she had not admitted to me before.

Now I just need to find a way to get her to consider reading the books 😕

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Last few days Things have been going Ok but I am still feeling un easy about her phone secrecy. She has blocked ex and has told me that any future contact regarding arrangements with the kids will be done while I am present.

I am still feeling uncomfortable. Is it acceptable for me to ask for her to show her SMS and call history? Or should I just give time for the feeling of trust to grow? I have given her my PC password and phone Pin but she feels strongly that her privacy is important and that I should trust her.

I feel like there is two competing requirements - I want to trust her and for her to feel trusted. On the other hand I feel like she breached my trust by choosing to maintain an inappropriate emotional connection with the ex. Even though she has acknowledged that it was disrespectful and hurtful to me, she is maintaining that she intends to honor our understanding of acceptable contact, is not doing anything wrong now, and and shouldn't need to give up her privacy.

I don't want to fall into trap of making selfish demands and disrespectful judgements. However This seems a bit impossible - I can try to follow the POJA ask her how would she feel about allowing me to periodically see her phone and SMS history? I can do it in a way that gives her the freedom to say no without a consequence but it will infer a judgement she cannot be trusted and will of course have a consequence that I won't feel as trusting. Kind of a catch 22.

Maybe there is no real answer other than to decide what I am willing to accept or not accept. If I choose to accept her privacy I can ask her the question and then hope she perceives it as a request and is willing to consider my feelings; but I should be prepared to move on if she is not willing to provide that.

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Originally Posted by Dajavude

Maybe there is no real answer other than to decide what I am willing to accept or not accept. If I choose to accept her privacy I can ask her the question and then hope she perceives it as a request and is willing to consider my feelings; but I should be prepared to move on if she is not willing to provide that.



Absolutely correct. You should both be freeloaders at this point with neither of you putting in any effort. Sounds as if she has this right but that you are trying to turn her into a renter.

Unfortunately it is tempting to take things too quickly if you have been married before. You have to fight that.


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Originally Posted by living_well
Originally Posted by Dajavude

Maybe there is no real answer other than to decide what I am willing to accept or not accept. If I choose to accept her privacy I can ask her the question and then hope she perceives it as a request and is willing to consider my feelings; but I should be prepared to move on if she is not willing to provide that.



Absolutely correct. You should both be freeloaders at this point with neither of you putting in any effort. Sounds as if she has this right but that you are trying to turn her into a renter.

Unfortunately it is tempting to take things too quickly if you have been married before. You have to fight that.


The freeloaders analogy is blurry though as she is expecting a complete commitment (emotional and financial) from me to support her, the household and kids etc. I initially tried to keep an initial financial separation but every attempt by me to clarify financial costs and who pays what etc, has been construed as a nit picky money hungry attempt to have my cake and eat it.

This is partly cultural as she is from Philippines where the male is expected to be the provider but I feel like she is expecting a "husband/father" behaviour from me but freeloader freedom from her.

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I thought they weren’t his kids? I think the easiest way for the kids to see him if they are not his and he’s more like a big brother figure is to have some day a week he picks them up from school and drops them home. If he was any kind of youth coach, parent phone calls is really minimal, one call to notify the schedule for the season and that’s pretty much it. How would that sound?


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If they’re old enough he can even drop them at the ball field and they can walk home. Think how would it work if he was another youth volunteer would not be calling in the grocery and all this just make it a simple routine the kids will like that better too.


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Originally Posted by NewEveryDay
I thought they weren’t his kids? I think the easiest way for the kids to see him if they are not his and he’s more like a big brother figure is to have some day a week he picks them up from school and drops them home. If he was any kind of youth coach, parent phone calls is really minimal, one call to notify the schedule for the season and that’s pretty much it. How would that sound?



That's right, he is not the father but the kids have a relationship with him and his own adult children.

The kids have been enrolled in schools just a short distance from where he lives whereas we are a 30 min train ride away. So he is provides a handy location for them to hang out after school etc as well. This was all arranged before I met her in October.

Unfortunately it provides an on going opportunity for him to have an excuse to keep trying to contact her.

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Originally Posted by Dajavude


The freeloaders analogy is blurry though as she is expecting a complete commitment (emotional and financial) from me to support her, the household and kids etc. I initially tried to keep an initial financial separation but every attempt by me to clarify financial costs and who pays what etc, has been construed as a nit picky money hungry attempt to have my cake and eat it.

This is partly cultural as she is from Philippines where the male is expected to be the provider but I feel like she is expecting a "husband/father" behaviour from me but freeloader freedom from her.



Dr Harley uses the term freeloader to mean uncommitted which is somewhat different from its conventional use. He advises everyone to be uncommitted in the early (the first six months) of a relationship. That means no effort, each of you should be exactly who you are. She has this right; she continues to have contact with her ex as her backup plan and at the same time asks for your emotional and financial support. All these things are healthy ways for her to show you who she is.

You, on the other hand are not being a freeloader; you are far too committed. So the relationship is an effort for you which it should not be. That is why the people here suggested you move out and date her casually. Had you done that in the first place, you would have saved yourself (and her children) a lot of trauma and heartache.

The relationship does not need to end, it just needs to be casual and fun. You must move out.


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Originally Posted by living_well
Originally Posted by Dajavude


The freeloaders analogy is blurry though as she is expecting a complete commitment (emotional and financial) from me to support her, the household and kids etc. I initially tried to keep an initial financial separation but every attempt by me to clarify financial costs and who pays what etc, has been construed as a nit picky money hungry attempt to have my cake and eat it.

This is partly cultural as she is from Philippines where the male is expected to be the provider but I feel like she is expecting a "husband/father" behaviour from me but freeloader freedom from her.



Dr Harley uses the term freeloader to mean uncommitted which is somewhat different from its conventional use. He advises everyone to be uncommitted in the early (the first six months) of a relationship. That means no effort, each of you should be exactly who you are. She has this right; she continues to have contact with her ex as her backup plan and at the same time asks for your emotional and financial support. All these things are healthy ways for her to show you who she is.

You, on the other hand are not being a freeloader; you are far too committed. So the relationship is an effort for you which it should not be. That is why the people here suggested you move out and date her casually. Had you done that in the first place, you would have saved yourself (and her children) a lot of trauma and heartache.

The relationship does not need to end, it just needs to be casual and fun. You must move out.



I expected to move out in the beginning when living together first came up. I explained it would be best thing for everyone to move slowly.

Every time it came up she was adamant she needed someone with her.

I felt if I insisted it might jeapodise the relationship.

In fact I have offered this option many times since, even just this morning but she wants us together.

Not withstanding the inherent dangers, I want us together now as well we are all bonding and building connections.

I am not interested in continuing relationship with her while she maintains a connection with her ex. It's not worth the stress for me. Irrespective of whether we live together or not.

If I had choice to go back in time now I would stick to my original gut reaction and end relationship when I found out her situation.

Now I am in love and emotionally attached.

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Originally Posted by Dajavude

Not withstanding the inherent dangers, I want us together now as well we are all bonding and building connections.


Well yes of course, Dr Harley warns against jumping into bed during the freeloader stage because it creates a very intense bond with someone who might simply be wrong for you.

Originally Posted by Dajavude

I am not interested in continuing relationship with her while she maintains a connection with her ex. It's not worth the stress for me. Irrespective of whether we live together or not.


That makes sense. Don't demand, just observe. If you demand, she will take her communications underground which you need like a hole in the head.

Originally Posted by Dajavude

If I had choice to go back in time now I would stick to my original gut reaction and end relationship when I found out her situation.

Now I am in love and emotionally attached.


Yes and therein lies your problem. When will you be moving out?


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Originally Posted by living_well
[quote=Dajavude]]

Yes and therein lies your problem. When will you be moving out?


If I move out it will be the end of the relationship.

We discussed this again yesterday. She said she has no time to invest now that she has to work and care for the kids; that the relationship would just fade.

The other end is if there is not a way for us to manage the love busting contact with the ex.

I should not have agreed to her blocking him because it just created an impossible and unacceptable restriction to her.

When she did it SMS were still coming through which she couldn't understand.

I asked her last night if she had still been getting msgs and how has she responded. She disclosed she had sent a thankyou msg regarding some helpful thing he had done for her son.

I said that was a breach of the commitment she had made to not contact without me being present.

She tried to make light of it but I pointed out she had decided on the no contact rules and she had broken the agreement.

She basically spat the dummy and made out I was being ridiculous blowing it out of proportion.

Went to bed angry with her giving me silent treatment and I tried to engage with her this morning.

I eventually managed to explain I should not have accepted her offer to block because it was done in the spur of the moment to placate me.

I said I would not have asked for that.

She was still angry and defiant insisting the problem is me and my insecurities.

I know that is partly true but I also feel I have legitimate reasons to be uncomfortable.

I said it felt like she wanted to keep her connection with him and didn't want to share with me. I offered to let her keep that and I would move out so she could do what she wants.

She tried to gas light by saying I should be happy she moved in with me and that should prove her feelings and stop creating stories in my head to ruin our relationship.

So I asked her how would she feel about an arrangement where she is free to call and SMS ex as she pleases and to periodically show me so that over time I can see a history of her conducting things in a way that is respectful of me and us and that in time I would not feel worried?

She said she still felt it was a demand from me. I asked her why she felt that was worse than the arrangement she offered to block and not contact him?

She said she hasnt said no but needs time to think as she was going to work.

I guess now she has option to say yes, counter with another solution idea to provide reassurance to me or say no.

In which case I can say I cannot stay and be relaxed and happy in that environment and leave permanently.





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Originally Posted by Dajavude

If I move out it will be the end of the relationship.

We discussed this again yesterday. She said she has no time to invest now that she has to work and care for the kids; that the relationship would just fade.


So that tells you everything you need to know, You rank below her children and even below her job. She does not love you and does not plan to fall in love with you, you are just a meal ticket for her.

When are you moving out?


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Originally Posted by living_well
Originally Posted by Dajavude

If I move out it will be the end of the relationship.

We discussed this again yesterday. She said she has no time to invest now that she has to work and care for the kids; that the relationship would just fade.


So that tells you everything you need to know, You rank below her children and even below her job. She does not love you and does not plan to fall in love with you, you are just a meal ticket for her.

When are you moving out?


That's not how I see it.

Yes I am a support for her. That's what a partner does in a relationship.

I am just trying to navigate things within the reality of the situation and not over react or create unecessary drama.

I have just resigned to accepting and trusting her. Both our stress levels have gone down, more relaxed and she is being more open and affectionate.

I guess I will see in time if our relationship grows.

She wants to spend time with me doing things together, asks my opinion, does things for me, buys gifts, etc etc . I have been focused on the one thing and building a story around it.

I need to appreciate her perspective; her husband was very jealous and controlling. They were together 15years and during that time she was not even allowed to leave the house without him. Her baulking at my sensitivity to the ex boyfriend reminds her of that.

She also doesn't have any other friends or relatives in our country, Australia. So it makes sense that she would not want to burn bridges with someone that has been a friend and supported her., Especially in case things don't work with us.

I can't blame her for that.

I can really only try to accept each day as it comes and judge on our time together.

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Made it through another day with no drama.

I have kept focussing on being happy / helpful, affectionate, household support etc etc. She has been becoming more open and affectionate back in return and we have spent all of her two days off together.

I still find myself having my mind go to thinking about messages on phone but I just try to distract myself and not dwell.

She has been happy to leave phone lying around, use it in plain view of me, even putting phone in my pocket while we were shopping and unlocking the phone where I could see - but I have purposely turned away and not tried to watch. I want her to decide to be transparent without any more effort from me.

I don't feel like I can actually bring this up again without causing unecessary drama.

The pay off has been a very happy few days together.

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Do you have a question for us?


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Originally Posted by living_well
Do you have a question for us?



For me I am looking for some support and guidance with some of the challenges I am facing and also to help me find a balanced perspective in attempting to navigate out interactions and my own thinking and emotions.

I get that living together is a big no no for some people, and that might be the only insight and advice that can be offered by some given their own experiences etc.


So my posting is partly cathartic and inferring questions that probably don't have black and white answers. 🤔

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Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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So we have have had just over a week with no major upset or drama.

This has come in the back of my decision to try to accept and trust her.

We had a early Valentine's celebration as she works on the weekend so I took Friday off to spend together.

It was a nice day overall but I found myself struggling with anxiety each time I heard an alert on her phone. Spending the whole day together made me realise how much energy I am using to manage that.

I have not brought this topic up again but I am feeling worried and resentful about it still because I think she should want to alleviate my concerns and not want to keep that contact hidden.

I am worried that boundaries are not being respected and that when I find out I am going to be put in a tougher situation of needing to leave.

I wish I could just let it go because other than that things have been great between us and the kids.

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How about sharing child care with another family instead of this guy?


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Originally Posted by NewEveryDay
How about sharing child care with another family instead of this guy?



If only it was that simple. The arrangements are primarily to maintain a connection for the kids to him and his family. He has adult / teenager sons that live with him and they all hang out. It also provides a convenient location for the kids to go after school as he lives near the schools.

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I am finding the mind activity on this really frustrating. I just want the resentment to go away but its like each event just adds fuel to it.



Part of me is saying to just wait and let the thoughts go and they will disappear over time. The other part is just bubbling away and agitating to stand up and insist on transparency. Talking to her previously asking just results in her not listening, not demonstrating any attempt to have empathy for my feelings. She straight away blames me for for being insecure.



Even though I wish we could discuss everything I don't see any point in trying to have a discussion about it.

Just a circular mind story.

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Your feelings would go away if she was interacting with someone else, perhaps one of the teens. Or found another place for the kids to hang after school. But that’s not where your relationship is right now where she’s trying to win you over the way you are trying to win her over. So it feels awful all the time.

If you were open to other women meeting your needs right now as well it wouldn’t feel so unequal. I think that’s what the other posters are saying, not to go to a one sided exclusivity until you both get there.


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Originally Posted by NewEveryDay
Your feelings would go away if she was interacting with someone else, perhaps one of the teens. Or found another place for the kids to hang after school. But that’s not where your relationship is right now where she’s trying to win you over the way you are trying to win her over. So it feels awful all the time.

If you were open to other women meeting your needs right now as well it wouldn’t feel so unequal. I think that’s what the other posters are saying, not to go to a one sided exclusivity until you both get there.


Yes, but, It makes me feel really sad because in my situation that option only leads to end of our relationship.

Seems I only have sad choices in that regard....

To stay and keep trying to manage my resentment in the hope it goes away over time or something changes.
To bring it up again although I feel this is pointless. If I ask respectfully and try to leave the option of her saying no open and she says no I am left in the same boat.
To leave.

Some years ago after my second marriage ended I found solace with listening to Eckart Tolle. In particular "Transmuting Suffering into Peace" on Audible. It helped me become more compassionate of myself and others, more mindful and helped to bring my awareness out of my thoughts. This helped me to get to sleep most nights for the first 12 months after we separated. I have started to listen to him again as I am having trouble sleeping again.

He explains how the external, other people. relationships, etc will change when there is a change inside ourselves. I have witnessed that this week with her behaviour becoming more relaxed and carefree with me. But it seems like I am only treating the symptoms.

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As you can see I am feeling very emotional today. I am 50 years old and I feel like crying. Makes me feel silly because it's not like its a life and death issue.

My painbody is agitating inside to confront her. I usually just write all of my verbal negativity into my diary to let it out. I have also come here and used posting as a cathartic exercise. I have written a letter to her about how I am feeling. I have done this before but I don't send them or give to her but it's all kind of bubbling out since friday.

The saddest thing is feeling I can't tell you how my love for you erodes everytime I hear a message alert on your phone. It feels like a stab in the guts because I want to be able to tell you everything and to trust that you will try to understand me and have my back. 
Instead I have the horrible feeling of knowing you will blame me and not want to help. 

This is something I cannot understand. I have tried to talk to you about it and everytime it turns in to you blaming me and making out I am trying to control you. 

I am only asking you to show me what you say you are doing that is supposed be ok and respectful of us. 

Instead all I have is your word. The word you said you wanted me to accept after you told me about living with Michael still.  I did that for you when you asked. You don't seem to understand that your actions destroyed that trust. You continuing to share a disrespectful bond with Michael even after you moved. You should not have even been talking to him before that, let alone making fun me and joking with him.


As much as that hurt me I didn't want to lose you over that and I asked you to show me the communication so that I can have peace about it. Instead you blame me. My feelings don't count, it is all my insecurities and I have no right to feel like you betrayed me. 

I have made myself sick by trying to accept you hiding your communication with him for over a week and I have noticed how happy you have become.  Have you seen how i have died a little bit inside every day that you have not offered to help me?  

The worst day was friday. The day when we were supposed to be spending time together and focusing on each other.  You spent the so much time on your phone, then talking about  how how your late husband courted you and other things you remember, being ungrateful about roses I bought you, there was only 10!!! and musing outloud about how you can't think of any reason why you love me, that it is a mystery. 

This is my recollection of friday.

Yours was a litany of selfies and you still can't put a photo of us on your FB profile. 

All the while you would not have noticed how I winced inside, and tried to hide my feelings , everytime the phone had an alert or you responded to something with me worrying it was him. 

All you would have to do is recognise the hurt your actions caused and let me see the messages until I felt comfortable and trust that there was no more disloyalty to me and us. I honestly don't know how long I can keep smiling and make believe it's worth suffering everyday. 
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Hi @Dajavude,

Sorry you are having this struggle.

Have you thought further about trying to continue the relationship, but living separately? I realize this may not be what you want, but over time it could lead to a more intelligence-driven perspective on this relationship versus an emotional-driven perspective (for both of you). I know this was suggested earlier also, and she gave reasons why this would lead to the relationship fading away and you also gave reasons why it was not possible, but just because she says that it will lead to drifting apart does not mean that is what will happen. It may or may not. Why not try to be transparent with her about all of this emotional turmoil and ask to live separately for now, but date and see where this goes over time?

I do not see the current situation as sustainable from your messages and the emotional imbalance right now. But the choice is not either or. The choice could be something in-between from a continuum of choices. Sometimes those choices and options only become clearer over time.

I wish you well.


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Originally Posted by Blackhawk
Hi @Dajavude,

Sorry you are having this struggle.

Have you thought further about trying to continue the relationship, but living separately? I realize this may not be what you want, but over time it could lead to a more intelligence-driven perspective on this relationship versus an emotional-driven perspective (for both of you). I know this was suggested earlier also, and she gave reasons why this would lead to the relationship fading away and you also gave reasons why it was not possible, but just because she says that it will lead to drifting apart does not mean that is what will happen. It may or may not. Why not try to be transparent with her about all of this emotional turmoil and ask to live separately for now, but date and see where this goes over time?

I do not see the current situation as sustainable from your messages and the emotional imbalance right now. But the choice is not either or. The choice could be something in-between from a continuum of choices. Sometimes those choices and options only become clearer over time.

I wish you well.



Thankyou 😊

Due to the nature of the relationship it would be viewed) construed as abandoning her.

I see now that I let things move too fast. I had purposely not dated and stayed single for 5,years since end of last marriage. I decided to try again last October and she was the first lady I met.

We really clicked and she was super enthusiastic so it was very easy for me. She always wanted to talk and make dates so I never really had any issues until she told me about her living arrangements with her ex.

At that point I had to decide to end relationship or trust her. In hindsight maybe I should have gone with gut feeling to withdraw.

Everything is obvious in hindsight.

If everything was negative and bad it would be easy choice now but she does so many nice things for me my love bank is still being replenised and I am doing things for her happily as well, albeit with an underlying sensitivity.

Hence my hesitation to upset things while they are going well.


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I have a new conundrum today.

Last night she asked me to help her with a problem on her iPad. It needed to be signed in and when I tried to pass to her she told me the pin.

I think it might be the same on her phone. I have been purposely avoiding watching her put in her phone pin to respect her privacy and also hoping she will offer to share the communication as I had previously asked.

Now I am potentially able to check I realise I may be confronted with information that will confirm my fears OR validate I can trust her.

If I find inappropriate communication I am going to have to leave. There will be no point bringing it up again.

I would be able to pack my things and move within one day myself while they are all at work / school.


Or do I not look and let things go?

Do I raise the issue again?




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Originally Posted by Dajavude


Now I am potentially able to check I realise I may be confronted with information that will confirm my fears OR validate I can trust her.

If I find inappropriate communication I am going to have to leave. There will be no point bringing it up again.

I would be able to pack my things and move within one day myself while they are all at work / school.



Your problem is that finding nothing proves nothing. She may have deleted everything or they may have decided not to use text messaging for private conversations. Your problem is that she has already told you that she has no interest in going exclusive (becoming a renter) at this time. She is being honest.

You are going to need to put on your brave boots and move out. Then date her and date others too. You need to freeload. You will feel so much better when you have done this.


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Originally Posted by living_well
Originally Posted by Dajavude


Now I am potentially able to check I realise I may be confronted with information that will confirm my fears OR validate I can trust her.

If I find inappropriate communication I am going to have to leave. There will be no point bringing it up again.

I would be able to pack my things and move within one day myself while they are all at work / school.



Your problem is that finding nothing proves nothing. She may have deleted everything or they may have decided not to use text messaging for private conversations. Your problem is that she has already told you that she has no interest in going exclusive (becoming a renter) at this time. She is being honest.

You are going to need to put on your brave boots and move out. Then date her and date others too. You need to freeload. You will feel so much better when you have done this.


She hasn't been honest. She has said there is no relationship other than for making arrangements with kids. Anything other than that is a breach of trust again and I will move out and end relationship

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That is not what you told us here


Originally Posted by Dajavude

If I move out it will be the end of the relationship.

We discussed this again yesterday. She said she has no time to invest now that she has to work and care for the kids; that the relationship would just fade.


Originally Posted by Living Well


So that tells you everything you need to know, You rank below her children and even below her job. She does not love you and does not plan to fall in love with you, you are just a meal ticket for her.


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Originally Posted by living_well
That is not what you told us here


Originally Posted by Dajavude

If I move out it will be the end of the relationship.

We discussed this again yesterday. She said she has no time to invest now that she has to work and care for the kids; that the relationship would just fade.


Originally Posted by Living Well


So that tells you everything you need to know, You rank below her children and even below her job. She does not love you and does not plan to fall in love with you, you are just a meal ticket for her.




What do you mean?

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Originally Posted by Dajavude


We discussed this again yesterday. She said she has no time to invest now that she has to work and care for the kids; that the relationship would just fade.

Originally Posted by Dajavude


What do you mean?


She has been totally honest. She has told you that she is not interested in investing in a relationship with you. Thank her for that and get packing.


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Originally Posted by living_well
Originally Posted by Dajavude


We discussed this again yesterday. She said she has no time to invest now that she has to work and care for the kids; that the relationship would just fade.

Originally Posted by Dajavude


What do you mean?


She has been totally honest. She has told you that she is not interested in investing in a relationship with you. Thank her for that and get packing.




It is not as simple as that. She means that she prefers to have me stay.

There is the question mark of is she maintaining an innappropriate contact with ex.

I haven't had chance to check her phone but I did quickly confirm the pin code unlocks the phone.

I am dreading what I might find when I have chance to check.

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Originally Posted by Dajavude

It is not as simple as that. She means that she prefers to have me stay.


To us it looks as if she wants a relationship with you but only if it is on her terms. You are going to make yourself ill.


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Originally Posted by living_well
Originally Posted by Dajavude

It is not as simple as that. She means that she prefers to have me stay.


To us it looks as if she wants a relationship with you but only if it is on her terms. You are going to make yourself ill.


Hopefully I can check her phone tonight or tomorrow morning. Then I'll have some clarity. She will have had two weeks of freedom to manage things without fear of my interference.

If she is true to her word there will not be any unreasonable contact

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I checked phone this morning while she was having a shower. There was no history of SMS or phone contact with him at all.

Which is very strange.

Also yesterday she rang me in the morning to check if her daughter was at home again. Apparently she had received a notification from the school that Daughter had missed roll call and was marked absent, and the Daughter was not replying to calls or SMS. I also left a message and SMS for her. She then rang the school and was not able to verify if she was there so she was in a mild panic.

It occurred to me that the Ex lives near the school and checking with him would be obvious but I assumed she would do that.

Anyway it turned out that Daughter had gotten drenched in a downpour after getting off train and then went to the Ex's place to have a shower and stayed there the whole day. She later replied etc. When I spoke to my partner this morning I asked if she had found it where she had gone she said daughter had told her to the ex's place.

I found this odd as to why she would not have contacted him or the other way?

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If I have access to her phone - what is best Apple Phone spy software where I don't know the Apple id password?

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Considering, that you are just dating at the moment - although living together - I do not feel that it would be appropriate for you to put spyware on her phone. You may take a peak, but you should get your info by other means.


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Originally Posted by happyheart
Considering, that you are just dating at the moment - although living together - I do not feel that it would be appropriate for you to put spyware on her phone. You may take a peak, but you should get your info by other means.


I understand the the basis of your observation. However, as I am investing time, money , and emotional support equivalent to a husband / spouse / father to both her and her children I feel like the potential imbalance and risk of loss counter acts the technicality of marriage being a sole legitimisation for spying.

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Have you thought about writing to Dr. H directly? This path sounds like it’s been so painful for you. If you’re a committed buyer maybe it’s time to propose and give her the reason to give up the other guy?


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No spy software will help to solve the problem, moreover it will be getting even worse(((

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Originally Posted by NewEveryDay
Have you thought about writing to Dr. H directly? This path sounds like it’s been so painful for you. If you’re a committed buyer maybe it’s time to propose and give her the reason to give up the other guy?



Honestly, I don't think a proposal would get the ex out of the picture unless we moved. She is wanting to allow kids to maintain connection with him. They were only living together 2 years and the kids are 12 and 14 now. I don't understand how come there is such an important bond there. I think it is also because it gives her a safety net to return if the kids maintain the connection with him.

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Originally Posted by Emma White
No spy software will help to solve the problem, moreover it will be getting even worse(((


I think you are probably right. It's really not worth the stress and the effort.

If there is that lack of trust from her actions it won't change anything knowing more details

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Dajavude,

Have you ever had an honest conversation with your girlfriend about what she wants in life? How does she make her decisions regarding men in her life? What are her values? What are her cultural traditions? Who are her parents and siblings and where do they live? What do they do for a living? How often is she in contact with them?

Basically, how much do you really know this woman? How much do you really know about her circumstances and what were her motives for agreeing you to live with her, especially after such a brief time of acquaintance beforehand?

Would you say she is in love with you? Are you in love with her? Perhaps she doesn't care for you very much but you help her with paying her household bills so she wants you to be with her for that reason. What if you could get her to fall in love with you? Do you take her out on dates? Do you know about the love busters and avoid them? Do you know what her emotional needs are and would you say SHE says you do a good job at meeting them?

I suggest that she is not committed to you. Do you want to continue living with her at all costs?


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Originally Posted by LongWayFromHome
Dajavude,

Have you ever had an honest conversation with your girlfriend about what she wants in life? How does she make her decisions regarding men in her life? What are her values? What are her cultural traditions? Who are her parents and siblings and where do they live? What do they do for a living? How often is she in contact with them?

Basically, how much do you really know this woman? How much do you really know about her circumstances and what were her motives for agreeing you to live with her, especially after such a brief time of acquaintance beforehand?

Would you say she is in love with you? Are you in love with her? Perhaps she doesn't care for you very much but you help her with paying her household bills so she wants you to be with her for that reason. What if you could get her to fall in love with you? Do you take her out on dates? Do you know about the love busters and avoid them? Do you know what her emotional needs are and would you say SHE says you do a good job at meeting them?

I suggest that she is not committed to you. Do you want to continue living with her at all costs?




Hey Longway

There is a lot of stuff to digest and consider there.

What is love? How does one really ever know what is happening for someone else?

For me I consider it a function of being attracted to someone then the connection / bond that builds by spending time together and giving to them. Of course the time and effort they give back.

We spend a lot of time together / talking on phone when we are not together.

She always wants to be near me and when we are working she calls on way to and from work (1.5hr commute) and during her lunch breaks. This has been a constant thing with us since we met.

I guess we spend 2hrs or more per day on phone and the time we spend at home, shopping and the dates we have. Although "dates" are harder now.

She is also us very giving in acts of service like cooking, ironing my clothes, lunches etc etc. We are very affectionate with each other and we make love regularly. She will be tired during her work week but will usually try to please me and spend time if she can.

All in all her behaviour tells me she wants my presence and attention and tries to do nice things for me.

In terms of love bank deposits I feel she is giving to me and in return I try to give to her. I do this by being helpful with all household tasks, cooking, shopping cleaning etc, being happy and affectionate,. Trying to build close bonds with the kids, help them where I can, sports, transport etc, and giving her lots of attentive listening and conversation.

I feel she loves me, and I feel I love her.

She is from Philippines originally, has regular contact with her family, siblings, cousins etc.

I believe her plans for future are family care oriented and to be married.

In terms of MB concepts, EN and love busters etc. I have read books a few times. I have two failed marriages and am very keen not to repeat the same mistakes a 3rd time.

She has refused so far to read the books but has actually agreed to do EN questionnaire thing the other day; will be trying to get her engagement with that.

On a plus note yesterday. We had a heart to heart about various stuff and she actually encouraged me to discuss the underlying concerns I had about ex.

This time she listened and seemed to genuinely accept and understand my feelings.

She then offered me complete access to her phone and gave me pin.

This act gave me so much relief and strong feeling for her. I actually have much stronger feeling of confidence in us now.

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So things have been going fairly well since last post which I guess has been not quite three weeks.

Not having a constant anxiety about contact has been a massive stress relief. It is interesting that with that cause of drama gone we have become closer and spending a lot of time together. We have had two special dates with one where we spent the whole day together eating breakfast and Lunch in different restaurants, visited museum and park etc.

At the same time there has been escalating dramas with the two children. Last last time I was aware of contact from the Ex he had given her a verbal assault running her down in front of the daughter on the phone. He is patently angry and lashing at her as he has realised she is not going back. Her 12yr son has been spending most afternoons after school and wanting to spend weekends there as there is a house full of teenager and adults playing computer games where he can play all the time he wants with no limits, and has led to him becoming more argumentative and disrespectful towards his mum.

Her 14yr daughter has been regularly not attending school and spending the day at the ex's house. He is obviously not encouraging to go to school.

Without any prompting from me she was starting to feel like them having contact with him was causing more drama and disruption and was considering preventing them going there. After a week where the son was asked to come straight home after school and spend weekends with us and her daughter spending 3-4 nights out of the last two weeks staying there my partner has seemingly given up and decided to let them do what they want?!? and Not wanting to engage with her daughter about schooling.

I honestly cannot understand how it can be a good idea to allow them to spend time with some one that is obviously poisoning their minds against their mum and allowing them to do what they want so they will spend time with him. I feel powerless to do anything as I am not their father. Although I have maintained friendly relations with them both and I have tried to have discussions with them both to ask them if there is anything we can do to help and what might be going on for them.

I can see things deteriorating quickly with her daughter as they have a tendency to clash and could easily lead to her ending up leaving which would be a tragedy.

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I know you aren’t married, but I strongly recommend reading up on Blended Families


FWW/BW (me)
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2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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