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So me and my boyfriend have been together and lived together for about a yr and a half. We have a big age gap but age is just a number to me and were very compatible. We've been through a lot ,like we live in a tiny house next door to my dad and brother, my brother comes in all the time so we have like no privacy to have sex or argue properly but we make it past that and still be together and happy, but lately I'm not sure what's going on. His birthday is coming up and I think I've just been over criticizing him since the present I want to get him means a lot to me and I want to make sure I mean it. I want to get him a promise ring with our names engraved inside and I wrote a long love letter to go with it. Yea promise rings may be high schoolish but it's a way for me to say I'm ready for the next step.

Anyway, here's my problem. The other day I got mad at him for wanting a extra beer (he drinks, but is working on drinking less I think). pretty minor thing to get mad about but I made a big deal about it, and he changed the issue things my dad and brother do that irritates him, so I really hated that he just avoided the topic since It's a important thing to me.. The next day we were all quiet with each other and at the end of the night I broke down and told him when I get mad at him for stuff like that it occasionally makes me unsure of what I want and I get depressed. Well the next day he drinks too much and I wrote a note stating how I felt about it, I pretty much said if you aren't going to really try to drink less then tell me so I can emotionally adapt myself so we can have a good future. Next morning he reads it and doesn't have anything to say about it so I'm like all confused to why he can't answer it when I put out all my thoughts and feelings out for him, does that mean he doesn't really care? And finally today I checked his facebook messages and saw that he was flirting with a old friend of his. She has a boyfriend and all but my rule is I don't flirt with guys, you don't flirt with chicks. He told her we need to visit her and her having nice tits and A** is a plus for him and since he's older he wants to do things he's never got to do before. What the heck does that even mean? So I message him and tell him I saw it and how if we were more open and honest I wouldn't be nosy and he wouldn't feel like he has to hit on chicks, and that I don't know what's gotten into me but I'd like to work it out before I lose you. So I'm expecting another arguement to come later on frown

sorry for the long post, but whose in the wrong in this situation? and how should I let my man know that we need to really work this out? I asked him the other day if he would work with me to help our relationship and he said yes of course since he doesn't want to lose me, but we haven't started working out anything yet. Am I just being paranoid and nit picking at everything thinking we have some big problem? I'm not sure if this is the kind of questions asked on this site, but I really want someones opinion on what's happening.

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confused, if he is flirting with other women, he doesn't sound like someone you want to build an enduring relationship with. I would split up.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
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I can't just split up with him for flirting with someone, I want to be with this man for a very long time. I partially don't blame him to make a flirting comment but it still makes me jealous that he did, even if the woman has a boyfriend and blew it off with saying haha back. He hasn't had minutes on his phone in a long time and we go everywhere together when we go out so I don't see how he can cheat on me, and when he was talking to her I was sitting next to him but didn't look over to see what they were talking about. (yea I'm nosy frown ) Seeing the marriage builders top needs thing, I know one of my man's top needs would be the sexual one and we only get a chance to do that like once a month and he hasn't cheated on me yet. So that would be a need I need to fill for him and my top need is honest and openness so he would need to work on filling that need. I just don't know why I've been so judgmental and criticizing lately. Is this a normal phase for woman who are thinking about wanting to marry someone who has a little changing to do?

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Is this a normal phase for woman who are thinking about wanting to marry someone who has a little changing to do?

No. This is your emotions telling you that he is not marriage material. These emotional reactions are there to protect you. Listen to them.Don't marry him.


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Originally Posted By: confusedchick
I can't just split up with him for flirting with someone,


You need to have firm boundaries about this if you want to end up in a happy relationship.

My wife would kick me out in a heartbeat for flirting with another woman. We are very happy.

(My children would probably eat my lunch if they saw me flirting with another woman, too.)

Quote:
I want to be with this man for a very long time.


A man who flirts with other women is bad news!


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted By: confusedchick
I partially don't blame him to make a flirting comment


Why would you put up with such horrible behavior from him? frown It made you feel bad because it's a hurtful thing for him to do.

This is not a relationship headed toward happy marriage - this is the way the 80% of marriages that end in unhappiness, divorce, or permanent situation live.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted By: confusedchick
So me and my boyfriend have been together and lived together for about a yr and a half.


Why do you expect him to act married when he's not?

That's the problem with living together before marriage. You can't expect him to act married and he can't expect you to act married. Why should he treat you well? You give him everything when he treats you badly.

First step. Pack and move out.

Second step. Break off the relationship. He is not ready to be a good husband or boyfriend.

Third step. Work on yourself to become an honorable, safe companion.


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Do you think he has a drinking problem?


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FWW/BW (me)
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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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Originally Posted By: confusedchick
I can't just split up with him for flirting with someone, I want to be with this man for a very long time.


Sure you can. Why do you want to be with him?
Originally Posted By: confusedchick


I partially don't blame him to make a flirting comment but it still makes me jealous that he did, even if the woman has a boyfriend and blew it off with saying haha back. He hasn't had minutes on his phone in a long time and we go everywhere together when we go out so I don't see how he can cheat on me, and when he was talking to her I was sitting next to him but didn't look over to see what they were talking about. (yea I'm nosy frown ) Seeing the marriage builders top needs thing, I know one of my man's top needs would be the sexual one and we only get a chance to do that like once a month and he hasn't cheated on me yet. So that would be a need I need to fill for him and my top need is honest and openness so he would need to work on filling that need. I just don't know why I've been so judgmental and criticizing lately. Is this a normal phase for woman who are thinking about wanting to marry someone who has a little changing to do?


Maybe it's a sign that he's really not a quality catch. Let's see, you say there is an age gap. Is he the far older member of the relationship?

You say he drinks a lot.

He flirts with other women.

I take it that since your brother comes and goes in your home, it's your or your families home. So this guy doesn't have a home of his own.

Please explain what makes him such a great catch? Given what I've read, I'm not convinced he is a great catch. I think your intuition or something similar is alerting you to this possibility.

Pay attention to the red flags appearing before you.

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ok I'll give a background of me and then answer everyones questions smile. I grew up with an alcoholic dad (my mom died when i was young). He wasn't a good alcoholic either, he was the type that would get really loud and mean (not abusive, just verbal mean to my brother or girlfriends). I put up with that all my life, and then I find a guy that I fall in love with, at first it was kind of a get away from my dad thing, but now living next to them all (because of money issues, we have our own house, his hrs got super cut back so he gets no overtime rarely except lately he's getting overtime), I know that I really love him for how we are together. My dad went sober here for like 7 months for his girlfriend so he's been way better.

anyway, let's get to why I love my boyfriend. We grew up with the same backgrounds (minus the alcoholic dad, his parents don't drink or smoke), like I didn't have much growing up and he didn't have much growing up. We have lots in common. We love the same books (I don't picture myself finding another man enthusiastic about reading YA dystopian and paranormal stuff lol and reading is one of my hobbies by the way), love the same tv shows, recreational activities (we play WoW together). Our differences are music and future kids mostly. He has kids so he's unsure if he wants anymore (he said he'll give me one though if I decide I really want a kid), and I'm unsure if I'll ever want any, because society has gotten so bad for kids. I just keep seeing my friends post baby pictures and I'm all like aww they are so adorable, what will my baby look like if I have one lol. and oh yea we both love cats, we have 3 of them (I've always had cats growing up and lots of them lol).

Ok now to your questions, does he have a drinking problem? Yea, but it's nothing compared to how my dad was, and my man has actually changed some so I KNOW he's capable of change, especially if we had our own land and privacy etc. He went from drinking 12 pack everyday on weekdays and 18 pack on weekends, to 6 pack or less on some days everyday on weekdays to like 10 beers on weekends. I talked to him about it and he said he didn't have much to say because the only thing he can do is prove that he wants to try to change it more. So last night he read a bunch and we watched some tv, both activities help him drink less smile. and he's admitted multiple times that he has a problem that needs to be fixed. A true alcoholic doesn't admit they have a problem.

Is he the older one in the relationship? yes. I'm 20 and he's 37, big gap, I know I'm going to get negative comments about that. My dad didn't like it at first but now he doesn't bother me with it, my brother loves him. My man's parents love me, his sister loves me, and his kids did love me. My family doesn't get along with each other well so he hasn't gotten to meet much of my family, but I've met majority of his when we went to a funeral of one of his family members together.

and yes we live on a lot with my dad and brother, we all have our separate places to live. We split the bills to make it cheaper for everyone. Like I said earlier, money is harsh with hours cut for a year straight. He works as a machinist so he makes good money technically, but when you factor in child support, he doesn't see a lot of his money. I don't have a job and sadly I don't have a license either. My dad had a license problem, and my stepmom at the time was suppose to do my paperwork to get my license when I was like 16, but she left and it never got done. So I don't really know how to drive well, and our car is a standard. I have to work on learning to drive, since I can't depend on my dad's girlfriend to be able to take me to work everyday since she's not here most the time (oh and by the way, my dad's girlfriend is like 63 and my dad is 44, and my brother has a on and off again girlfriend that is in her 30's and he is 21 lol)

Lastly, he's a good catch for me, because we have all the stuff in common, we rarely get into arguements. He said the last couple days that we need to start walking more (walking was my idea of getting some exercise and be able to hold hands for a while and just talk about day to day things without having the tv or computer as distraction). When we do argue, we always make it through it within a couple days and then we are happy again. His family loves me and my family likes him. I don't care about money. I'm very cheap, like when we go out to eat I'm like yum taco bell sounds good, I don't ever say let's go eat at red lobster lol. I even buy my clothes cheap, I'm just a cheap person, I like saving money. I don't care that we live in a small house, to me that means we get along well, and i'm not big into big houses anyway, I grew up in trailer houses most my life, and this is better than a trailer house lol. I don't enjoy living next to my dad and brother all the time, but I put us here, and he's staying here for me. I know if it wasn't for me, he wouldn't be here. My dad borrows his expensive tools and never gives them back or breaks them, my dad never has money to pay his part of the bills on time, my dad hasn't paid us back on his loan to my man in months. (my dad needed a house, since his mom burnt down her place that he was staying in, yea crazy mom, but then he had no place to stay and we took out a 401k loan to buy him a travel trailer, he promised he'd pay every month, but that never happened. That was a yr ago, and my dad's only paid half of the $2300 loan) so my man puts up with all of that, because he doesn't want to lose me. So technically my dad is living with us, because we are somewhat supporting him, and I don't want that, so were going to try to find a small piece of land that we can save up to buy. Kids aren't suppose to support their parents right?

and oh yea, if I leave my boyfriend, then I'm stuck right back with my dad. I'd have no place to live, or sleep (one bedroom travel trailer with one bed), and I don't want to go back to staying with my dad. My man provides far better than what my dad could provide (and no I don't think that's saying that I use him because I love him and would totally help out with bills and house necessities if I had a job, and I don't care about money, I just know he provides well). Now don't take me wrong, I love my dad, but I don't want to be under the same roof with him ever again.

sorry for the long post, just wanted to explain smile

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Confusedchick,

You have so many issues here I don't even know where to begin.

Just because a man isn't as bad as your father, doesn't mean he's good enough for you.

Start reading up on codependency.

Your notion that one is not a true alcoholic if they admit their problem (and still continue drinking) comes from what, exactly? That makes no sense at all. An alcoholic is someone who drinks too much and it causes problems in life, and they can't stop. End of, it isn't any more complicated than that. A person who admits they have a problem and continues to drink is an alcoholic.

I'm not going to give you negative feedback for being 20 and dating a 37 year old (which I did at 20 myself), but I will say (now that I'm a lot closer to 37) that a man his age dating a girl YOUR age is probably doing so because a woman his age simply wouldn't put up with this. You are young, nave, and don't seem to know better, so that is an advantage for him.

I wish you the best of luck but you should consider individual counseling. Your situation is unhealthy and you don't seem to realize that.

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Have you ever heard the term "jump out of the pan and right into the fire"? You are in the fire.

Until you learn some skills to become independent, then you'll have to stick with whatever crumbs a man like this throws you. If you gained some independence, you might find that you can be treated much better than this. But he's old enough to know that.

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Originally Posted By: confusedchick

Is he the older one in the relationship? yes. I'm 20 and he's 37, big gap,

Drinking Problem.....


Flirting.......




Run Forest Run!


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Originally Posted By: confusedchick
I don't picture myself finding another man enthusiastic about reading YA dystopian and paranormal stuff lol and reading is one of my hobbies by the way


There are lots of men like this! That's why the Hunger Games was so popular.

(That's why I've got "Panem" on my profile on this site for location.)


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
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Originally Posted By: confusedchick
and oh yea, if I leave my boyfriend, then I'm stuck right back with my dad. I'd have no place to live, or sleep (one bedroom travel trailer with one bed), and I don't want to go back to staying with my dad. My man provides far better than what my dad could provide (and no I don't think that's saying that I use him because I love him and would totally help out with bills and house necessities if I had a job, and I don't care about money, I just know he provides well). Now don't take me wrong, I love my dad, but I don't want to be under the same roof with him ever again.


So before you were at your dad's mercy; now you are at this guy's mercy.

That's not a good situation to be in. If this guy takes a plunge and becomes EVEN WORSE, you are going to really be STUCK.

I think you need to start thinking about how to become independent. According to Dr. Harley, most women really do fairly well on their own if necessary.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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When we do argue, we always make it through it within a couple days and then we are happy again


This is how my wife and I were during engagement and moreso after we got married - and it only got worse. It went on into days/weeks long silences and fights. It was horrible. frown

To have a good relationship you have to learn to not argue AT ALL. My wife and I never fight any more, since we learned the principles here about not subjecting each other to our own demands, disrespect, and anger. We have lots of differences of opinion and we resolve them in ways that make both of us happy.

According to Dr. Harley (who has been happily married for 50 years!), he and his wife Joyce have a conflict every hour - a conflict, not a fight! They resolve them quickly and pleasantly without arguing, using the same relationship skills he teaches on this site, in a way that both of them are enthusiastic about. No arguments!

Fighting is deadly to a relationship, and it only gets worse.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
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Confusedchick,

Why don't you read through Dr. Harley's Basic Concepts, then read through them with your boyfriend and discuss them with him. See if he would be willing to live that way if the two of you got married. In particular, find out if he would be willing to follow the policies Dr. Harley suggests, like the Policy of Joint Agreement, and the Policy of Radical Honesty. These would preclude him doing hurtful things like flirting with other women.

Find out how he feels about this. It will tell you a lot about what a future with him would be like.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

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Originally Posted By: confusedchick
He told her we need to visit her and her having nice tits and A** is a plus for him and since he's older he wants to do things he's never got to do before. What the heck does that even mean?


What DOES that mean? I don't even know. Does he mean he wants to have sexual experiences with other women? If so, how are you going to feel about that?


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

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Originally Posted By: confusedchick

Ok now to your questions, does he have a drinking problem? Yea, but it's nothing compared to how my dad was, and my man has actually changed some so I KNOW he's capable of change, especially if we had our own land and privacy etc. He went from drinking 12 pack everyday on weekdays and 18 pack on weekends, to 6 pack or less on some days everyday on weekdays to like 10 beers on weekends. I talked to him about it and he said he didn't have much to say because the only thing he can do is prove that he wants to try to change it more. So last night he read a bunch and we watched some tv, both activities help him drink less smile. and he's admitted multiple times that he has a problem that needs to be fixed. A true alcoholic doesn't admit they have a problem.


Dr Harley had a radio show recently where he said the children of alcoholics or the verbally abusive have a 'blind spot'. They pick people who have similar problems but 'not as bad'.

Pick someone who is not just good, but amazing. Not someone who is 'not as bad'.

Your description of his drinking is an awful lot. I would expect to see this handled before I would even have considered a romantic relationship with him.

You are also planning to help him change!!!!

That is such a bad idea that I don't know where to start. If you are looking for a fixer upper in the dating world, you will never do well.


People change themselves BEFORE romantic relationships. So as to be worthy of them. You've already accepted the situation and moved yourself in!! Why would he change for that?

Originally Posted By: confusedchick
When we do argue, we always make it through it within a couple days and then we are happy again.


That sounds awful! You spend whole days arguing??!! A conflict should be dealt with in minutes, pleasantly, and to both people's advantage. There should be nothing to 'make it through'

I think the main attraction is getting out of your dad's fire and into this guy's frying pan.

Stand on your own two feet so you can interview prospective dates like job candidates.

You should also read Dr H's article about live in relationships. Its not fair for this guy to support you and its not fair for you to give up so much, and plan to change him - as though you are already married. Your plan won't work.

I understand this guy does have some things going for you, but he should be willing to let you do this first. You can support him as a friend.

You're 20 years old and having to give up a lot of better prospects to be with him. Meantime he can work on himself and who knows?


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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