I'm lost - am I stuck or trapped? Need help

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unsureandlost
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I apologise upfront, but this could be a longwinded post. I’m in a situation which has me very lost and confused, and I desperately need the opinion and thoughts from others outside my family and friends.

Where do I even begin.

I’m 40, she’s 31. We met off a dating app nearly 2 years ago. We spoke at length on the app for a couple of weeks and connected right away, constantly messaging each other back and forth. We arranged for our first date to be at a restaurant. Half an hour before the date, she messages to say she got distracted with work drinks and she was still in the city, but did I want to come over and meet her work friends etc. I wasn’t a fan of that idea (considering we’ve never even met), so I told all good we’ll just reschedule. She got a little bit *****y and told me she’d uber to our agreed meeting place. I said don’t worry, I’d come pick her up. So I picked her up and she was totally wasted. We went to dinner and movie and had a great chat, and we were very physical in the movie (no kissing, but just lots of handholding and touching etc). I instantly felt this amazing physical connection with her. Everything seemed so easy and it was completely unlike all my previous dating experiences.

We met again the next day and had lunch, then had a third date a few days later (which was when we first had sex).

The text messaging increased and we would soon be messaging constantly back and forth all day. We both have children (I have a daughter, 11, she has two, younger), so we couldn’t meet straight away but planned a big weekend together. The sexual chemistry we had was amazing. Everything felt so easy, so natural. It felt the way sex was supposed to feel.

The next few weeks were great, we were always messaging constantly, sending photos to each other, seeing each other whenever we could. I introduced to her my daughter at a casual lunch, I met her kids. A few weeks later the kids met each other and got on great.

Then one night she had a work Christmas party. I dropped her off and went home. I didn’t hear a thing from her all night and I was getting little bit worried because it was in the city. I sent numerous texts. In the end she comes home at 3am stinking of booze and climbs on top of me and wakes me up and tries to have sex. I was still bit mad that she didn’t let me know if she was ok so I said I wasn’t in mood, so she threw a tantrum and went and slept in the bathroom naked all night on the cold floor.

I started having doubts from a maturity point of view at this stage (as there is an age gap between us), but decided to keep going to see how things went because we had such a great connection.

After Christmas, we had planned to go away glamping for two nights. But my brother and I had eaten out at a dodgy Thai restaurant night before and I woke up throwing up with food poisoning. My brother was sick too. I txt her to say there was no way I could possibly make the three hour drive up there but that I didn’t want the accommodation to go to waste (because we had paid and couldn’t get a refund), so I suggested she and her sister go up and we’ll go away again another time. She did not like that all. She didn’t believe I was telling the truth and demanded to come around and see me. I told her I was literally puking my guts out and in no mood to see anyone in my state. She threw a tantrum of sorts and insinuated I was making it all up and that my brother wasn’t sick either. I had to screenshot convo with brother to send to her to show her. She was still dubious so in end I let her come over so she could see. Once she saw I really was sick, she apologised and said it was past trauma of being cheated on in other relationships that made her sensitive. I said ok and forgave her.

We went away and had an amazing time. I began to notice at this point that when I was with her, we’d be ok, but when we were apart **** would start to go a bit sideways.

Anyway, come January I had to go on a trip with my family and daughter that was booked before I’d met this new girl. It was for 12 days. The trip started fine and I let my girlfriend stay in my apartment while I was gone. We chatted every day and sent pics and vids back and forth, but naturally I couldn’t message as frequently because the days were busy and my attention was on my daughter as this was a trip for her. But halfway through I start getting messages that she felt like she was being ignored. I laughed it off and said I’d give her lots of attention when I got back and wasn’t going to be forever. Once I get back, I head straight over to her house and she opens door and immediately lunges at me and kisses me. After though, she coughs and splutters and tells me that she’s got a bad and cold and sick but had to kiss me first because she knew I wouldn’t if I knew she was that sick. I felt very angry about this because I hate getting sick, and she knew that, and sure enough, two days later I was sick as a dog. I decided at that point that there were too many warning signs popping up and things that I wasn’t comfortable with, and I began to see that there really wasn’t going to be a long term future in this. I couldn’t work out whether her love (which she had already professed to me at this point) was genuine and healthy, or if there was something else going on.

The day after I saw her, I had to have a meeting with another girl whom I’m in business with. She had messaged me to say she had some news and we agreed to meet at a restaurant at 4pm to have a drink. She told me she was leaving the biz etc, I said no problem, and then she asked how things were going with my new girlfriend. And I kind of slumped and let out this big sigh of frustration and she was like ‘oh no what’s happening’. So, rightly or wrongly, probably wrongly, I started unloading on this poor girl about the stuff I’d been dealing with – mostly because I hadn’t spoken to anyone about it and I wanted to know if this behaviour was something I should be concerned about. We ended up getting another drink and drinking more, and she started talking about all sorts of stuff too, and we ended up staying there till 10pm and getting very very drunk. It was completely inappropriate. All the while I was there, my girlfriend was texting and getting very suspicious and angry because I wouldn’t send a photo of myself, or I wasn’t texting back quick enough. I told the girl I was with ‘look, this is what im talking about’, and the girl said that yeah it’s crossing boundaries and you need to let her know it’s not ok before it goes too far. I can 100% say that nothing happened between me and this girl that night. Yes I did find her attractive and yes I enjoyed talking to her and getting all this **** off my chest – but nothing beyond that happened. I accept though that that this kind of thing while in a relationship is not okay.

Anyhow, I get sick soon after that (after being infected by girlfriend) and I’m knocked out for like a week. When I get sick I just go into my cave and would rather not see anyone, so she naturally takes huge offence to this and begins questioning how sick I am etc. The text messages start to increase and I start to get questioned where I am, why I didn’t respond, what was I doing etc. Again I shrug it off.

We see each other again and everything seems to go back to normal and she’s happy and being loving again. We have a great time in each other’s company. We start joking about visiting Europe (because neither of us have ever been), and then before we know we’ve booked a big trip for middle of the year. Part of me knew it was questionable booking such a big trip so far in advance, but I’d always wanted to go and always wanted to share the experience with someone, so I figured I’d stick out the relationship and see where it took us. I paid for it all, and she said she’d pay me back when she got her bonus middle of year.

After that the pattern seemed to follow as below. When we spent time together, all was great, when we were apart, **** would inevitably hit the fan. She’d start having these big mood swings. She’d promised me that I had nothing to be concerned about in terms of her mental health, but I was becoming suspicious that there was something underlying. She’d get very moody if my attention was on my daughter too much, or if she felt like she was a third wheel. Over time she also got progressively more suspicious about my movements and activities. But again, whenever we were together, it was very intense and she made me feel very loved and wanted. She always made me feel confident and attractive and was always wanting to do anything, to help out with my daughter etc, always going over and above.

But the instability continued when we were apart. There was drama or meltdowns every week. I began to feel like I had to make sure I had messaged at regular intervals or I began to stress and worry about her or if she thought I was ignoring her. I started getting questioned intensively about all my previous dates, who they were, what we’d done. Got questioned about my ex whom I’d had child with, why it was that we were still friends (which we are for the sake of our daughter). These conversations never ended well and would always end in her throwing a tantrum and sulking and making me feel like I wasn’t allowed to have any prior relationships before her.

During this time she was wanting us to buy a house together and so we were looking, mostly because I became too afraid I say that I felt too unsure about the stability of our relationship, and we found that one that all the kids fell in love with. She put a lot of time into my daughter and they had become very close, and the kids had become very close, and so I thought well even though I have my doubts, there was enough upside to make a go of it because I really did want my daughter to have that family environment to live in. But I couldn’t escape my doubts and my family and friends were expressing concerns about the house buying, so I had to make up some problem with bank financing as a reason that we couldn’t get the house. She was very *****y and disappointed but I did feel a massive relief when that idea got curtailed (for the time being).

Our trip to Europe was coming up. I had to hire someone to run my business while we were gone and train them for a week before we left. One girl applied who was very suitable for the job, but my girlfriend stalked her on fb and saw photos of her in her bikini and told me she wasn’t comfortable with me spending one on one time with her, so I had to hire someone else. All good, I understood why that would be sore point with her. Then we went on our a big Europe trip. It was amazing, though during the trip we did have a few spiky moments but we managed through it fine. Once we got back though, the wheels really started falling off. She had brought around clothes once we she came to stay with me and the tag had come off one of them as she’d come in. She found the tag on the floor and saw it was from a young girl’s clothing shop and I got absolutely attacked. I literally couldn’t explain why the tag was on the floor but she was convinced I’d had a girl around. It then turned into a massive fight and she admitted that she had been counting condoms every time she came over to make sure none were missing. Then she asked what the deal was with Kate (not real name, name of girl whom I’d met 6 months ago for the work drinks). I found this strange and said she was a girl I worked with. She then asked if I had anything I wanted to tell her. I said no. She then admitted she’d been reading my messages and found the conversation regarding that night we met up (because I had sent a message after the drinks saying thanks for the great night and thanks for the chat, hope you sleep off all those magaritas) etc. She got violent, threw stuff at me, had a complete meltdown. Screamed at me. Told me I was the biggest most selfish piece of **** she’d ever met. Wished she’d never met me. While I was unquestionably in the wrong, I felt very intruded upon having my messages being read, condoms counted etc, so I broke it off. She then pleaded next day to get back together. Crying, very emotional. She parked outside my house and bombed me with texts pleading to let her in. She confessed all these things to me.. that before we met she hadn’t been mentally stable and had in fact seen doctor regarding possible bipolar diagnosis. She confessed she’d cheated on her husband (kissed another guy), and then confessed she lost her last job because she’d been having a 9 month relationship with her boss who was married. And she told me she was in massive debt. She told me all about her childhood and I began feeling very sorry for her, and told myself she acted the way she did out of fear of abandonment and things that happened to her as a child that were out of control. I began to feel very guilty and took her back.

Things went ok for a while, though there remained numerous issues cropping up now and then but she was getting better at recognising them and admitting when she was being too controlling. She once admitted she’d tried to control and manipulate her ex husband but that ‘it didn’t work on me’. I told her I was probably a good fit for her then because that sort of **** wouldn’t work on me (at least I thought it didn’t).

Now and then though I’d start to see old behavior cropping up. Sometimes she’d come home and tell me my car engine hot and demanded to know where I’d been. Or she’d see a fireplace app on the tv that I’d bought while bored randomly browsing app store at night and she assumed I’d bought it coz I’d had a girl over. Or I once set up bitmoji because my daughter wanted me too and I sent one to my girlfriend, and she got super fiery and abusive and told me never to send her those and to just keep sending them to ‘the young *****es I’m messaging’. She’d routinely breakdown in tears in front of her kids. She’s driven drunk with them in the car. I actually did a lot of googling and research into her behavior and strongly believed she was BPD. I sat her down and showed her some videos and a lot of it resonated with her and she promised to be better.

Alas, problems continued.

You might ask why I’m still with her. The problem is I’m completely myself around her. I really do love her and I’ve never been able to be this comfortable with anyone. Sex is easy and fulfilling, conversation is deep and meaningful, she’s supportive of me, and I know that if I needed her for anything she’d come running. She can be very kind and sweet. I am slightly concerned that any future partner may not match up to that and I’ll probably just end up rather being alone. I am in introvert at heart and even that has caused many issues. She’s admitted wanting a partner whom she can be around 24/7 but I personally need my space to recharge. It’s no indictment on her, it’s just who I am. Multiple times she’s tried to break up with me in a fit of tears that we’re just not suited and it can never work and that we’re flogging a dead horse, but then straight after she admits she doesn’t care and would rather have me the way I am than lose me completely. But the more and more these issues arise, the more time alone I need because spending time with her can be emotionally draining. Incredibly draining.

Money has also been a sore spot for me. I’m very well off, she’s saddled with debt. I constantly get saddled with guilt trip messages… things like “ugh I’ve just got a tax bill and asked my dad for a loan but he won’t”.. I’d reply saying that I’ll help out of course, but she’ll bite back with “no no of course you don’t have to do that, not your problem x”. But of course I do feel incredibly guilty for not helping. Over the past 19 months I’m probably down $70k in transfers to her.. for the trip I didn’t get paid back, for never ending little things like dental procedure, tax, loans. She keeps dropping hits about new car she wants, or plastic surgery, etc etc – and while I can afford all these things and I’m not financially in trouble if I do – I really don’t want to feel taken advantage of. Sometimes I struggle to see where the line is. Because she’s my partner and I have a responsibility to her, I can’t just leave her to suffer if she’s drowning in debt, but at same time I can’t just magically solve all her problems for her. A few months back she asked me for $10k to buy new furniture so she could move house because she hated her current tiny house and that if I wasn’t going to let us all live together as a family then it seemed fair to her that I should help get her someplace nice at least. She knows how much money I have and often tells me hates me a little bit for it. She’ll often say she wishes she could just win lotto so she could buy us all a big house and that there wouldn’t be this imbalance.

The lockdown was also very trying and she had many meltdowns during it – we broke up twice, got back together. In the end I finally broke it off and said I just couldn’t take it anymore – we didn’t speak for 2 weeks – and then we met up again and decided to take it very very slowly, to not involve the kids at all and to just see each other every second weekend and rebuild. But already we’re only 6 weeks into that and there’s been a drama or meltdown every single week. Just last weekend we had a great lovely day on Saturday, awesome time, amazing, and then on Sunday she decided she didn’t like me very much that day and then had another meltdown that night and wanted to break up. Then she changed her mind and couldn’t imagine our lives apart. Then next day she turned up and came into my office naked and wanted to have sex.

And so here I am.. just sort of in limbo week to week never really knowing what’s going to happen next. This morning her kids facetimed mine (they hadn’t spoken to each other in months) and they played games together, and my girlfriend text today to say how cute it was they were all playing together.

I get so much affection from her, so much love and warmth, and then at same time she can honestly drain the life out of me and I need that time in between our weekends just recover. We’ve created so many memories together travelling and the kids all love each other and there just seems to be so much to leave behind if it all were to disappear.

Every time we’ve broken up, days pass and we inevitably just start missing each other and being so upset together because we really are best friends. But then there’s so much other stuff clouding the relationship that I just don’t know what’s real and what’s not anymore.

I would really love to know what others thing of this from a neutral, outside perspective. Or if there’s anyone to whom this dynamic sounds familiar, please tell me what’s going on here. I thought I was a strong confident individual but the longer this goes on, the more I question my sanity.

Help.
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squeakysquirrel
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(Original post by unsureandlost)
I apologise upfront, but this could be a longwinded post. I’m in a situation which has me very lost and confused, and I desperately need the opinion and thoughts from others outside my family and friends.

Where do I even begin.

I’m 40, she’s 31. We met off a dating app nearly 2 years ago. We spoke at length on the app for a couple of weeks and connected right away, constantly messaging each other back and forth. We arranged for our first date to be at a restaurant. Half an hour before the date, she messages to say she got distracted with work drinks and she was still in the city, but did I want to come over and meet her work friends etc. I wasn’t a fan of that idea (considering we’ve never even met), so I told all good we’ll just reschedule. She got a little bit *****y and told me she’d uber to our agreed meeting place. I said don’t worry, I’d come pick her up. So I picked her up and she was totally wasted. We went to dinner and movie and had a great chat, and we were very physical in the movie (no kissing, but just lots of handholding and touching etc). I instantly felt this amazing physical connection with her. Everything seemed so easy and it was completely unlike all my previous dating experiences.

We met again the next day and had lunch, then had a third date a few days later (which was when we first had sex).

The text messaging increased and we would soon be messaging constantly back and forth all day. We both have children (I have a daughter, 11, she has two, younger), so we couldn’t meet straight away but planned a big weekend together. The sexual chemistry we had was amazing. Everything felt so easy, so natural. It felt the way sex was supposed to feel.

The next few weeks were great, we were always messaging constantly, sending photos to each other, seeing each other whenever we could. I introduced to her my daughter at a casual lunch, I met her kids. A few weeks later the kids met each other and got on great.

Then one night she had a work Christmas party. I dropped her off and went home. I didn’t hear a thing from her all night and I was getting little bit worried because it was in the city. I sent numerous texts. In the end she comes home at 3am stinking of booze and climbs on top of me and wakes me up and tries to have sex. I was still bit mad that she didn’t let me know if she was ok so I said I wasn’t in mood, so she threw a tantrum and went and slept in the bathroom naked all night on the cold floor.

I started having doubts from a maturity point of view at this stage (as there is an age gap between us), but decided to keep going to see how things went because we had such a great connection.

After Christmas, we had planned to go away glamping for two nights. But my brother and I had eaten out at a dodgy Thai restaurant night before and I woke up throwing up with food poisoning. My brother was sick too. I txt her to say there was no way I could possibly make the three hour drive up there but that I didn’t want the accommodation to go to waste (because we had paid and couldn’t get a refund), so I suggested she and her sister go up and we’ll go away again another time. She did not like that all. She didn’t believe I was telling the truth and demanded to come around and see me. I told her I was literally puking my guts out and in no mood to see anyone in my state. She threw a tantrum of sorts and insinuated I was making it all up and that my brother wasn’t sick either. I had to screenshot convo with brother to send to her to show her. She was still dubious so in end I let her come over so she could see. Once she saw I really was sick, she apologised and said it was past trauma of being cheated on in other relationships that made her sensitive. I said ok and forgave her.

We went away and had an amazing time. I began to notice at this point that when I was with her, we’d be ok, but when we were apart **** would start to go a bit sideways.

Anyway, come January I had to go on a trip with my family and daughter that was booked before I’d met this new girl. It was for 12 days. The trip started fine and I let my girlfriend stay in my apartment while I was gone. We chatted every day and sent pics and vids back and forth, but naturally I couldn’t message as frequently because the days were busy and my attention was on my daughter as this was a trip for her. But halfway through I start getting messages that she felt like she was being ignored. I laughed it off and said I’d give her lots of attention when I got back and wasn’t going to be forever. Once I get back, I head straight over to her house and she opens door and immediately lunges at me and kisses me. After though, she coughs and splutters and tells me that she’s got a bad and cold and sick but had to kiss me first because she knew I wouldn’t if I knew she was that sick. I felt very angry about this because I hate getting sick, and she knew that, and sure enough, two days later I was sick as a dog. I decided at that point that there were too many warning signs popping up and things that I wasn’t comfortable with, and I began to see that there really wasn’t going to be a long term future in this. I couldn’t work out whether her love (which she had already professed to me at this point) was genuine and healthy, or if there was something else going on.

The day after I saw her, I had to have a meeting with another girl whom I’m in business with. She had messaged me to say she had some news and we agreed to meet at a restaurant at 4pm to have a drink. She told me she was leaving the biz etc, I said no problem, and then she asked how things were going with my new girlfriend. And I kind of slumped and let out this big sigh of frustration and she was like ‘oh no what’s happening’. So, rightly or wrongly, probably wrongly, I started unloading on this poor girl about the stuff I’d been dealing with – mostly because I hadn’t spoken to anyone about it and I wanted to know if this behaviour was something I should be concerned about. We ended up getting another drink and drinking more, and she started talking about all sorts of stuff too, and we ended up staying there till 10pm and getting very very drunk. It was completely inappropriate. All the while I was there, my girlfriend was texting and getting very suspicious and angry because I wouldn’t send a photo of myself, or I wasn’t texting back quick enough. I told the girl I was with ‘look, this is what im talking about’, and the girl said that yeah it’s crossing boundaries and you need to let her know it’s not ok before it goes too far. I can 100% say that nothing happened between me and this girl that night. Yes I did find her attractive and yes I enjoyed talking to her and getting all this **** off my chest – but nothing beyond that happened. I accept though that that this kind of thing while in a relationship is not okay.

Anyhow, I get sick soon after that (after being infected by girlfriend) and I’m knocked out for like a week. When I get sick I just go into my cave and would rather not see anyone, so she naturally takes huge offence to this and begins questioning how sick I am etc. The text messages start to increase and I start to get questioned where I am, why I didn’t respond, what was I doing etc. Again I shrug it off.

We see each other again and everything seems to go back to normal and she’s happy and being loving again. We have a great time in each other’s company. We start joking about visiting Europe (because neither of us have ever been), and then before we know we’ve booked a big trip for middle of the year. Part of me knew it was questionable booking such a big trip so far in advance, but I’d always wanted to go and always wanted to share the experience with someone, so I figured I’d stick out the relationship and see where it took us. I paid for it all, and she said she’d pay me back when she got her bonus middle of year.

After that the pattern seemed to follow as below. When we spent time together, all was great, when we were apart, **** would inevitably hit the fan. She’d start having these big mood swings. She’d promised me that I had nothing to be concerned about in terms of her mental health, but I was becoming suspicious that there was something underlying. She’d get very moody if my attention was on my daughter too much, or if she felt like she was a third wheel. Over time she also got progressively more suspicious about my movements and activities. But again, whenever we were together, it was very intense and she made me feel very loved and wanted. She always made me feel confident and attractive and was always wanting to do anything, to help out with my daughter etc, always going over and above.

But the instability continued when we were apart. There was drama or meltdowns every week. I began to feel like I had to make sure I had messaged at regular intervals or I began to stress and worry about her or if she thought I was ignoring her. I started getting questioned intensively about all my previous dates, who they were, what we’d done. Got questioned about my ex whom I’d had child with, why it was that we were still friends (which we are for the sake of our daughter). These conversations never ended well and would always end in her throwing a tantrum and sulking and making me feel like I wasn’t allowed to have any prior relationships before her.

During this time she was wanting us to buy a house together and so we were looking, mostly because I became too afraid I say that I felt too unsure about the stability of our relationship, and we found that one that all the kids fell in love with. She put a lot of time into my daughter and they had become very close, and the kids had become very close, and so I thought well even though I have my doubts, there was enough upside to make a go of it because I really did want my daughter to have that family environment to live in. But I couldn’t escape my doubts and my family and friends were expressing concerns about the house buying, so I had to make up some problem with bank financing as a reason that we couldn’t get the house. She was very *****y and disappointed but I did feel a massive relief when that idea got curtailed (for the time being).

Our trip to Europe was coming up. I had to hire someone to run my business while we were gone and train them for a week before we left. One girl applied who was very suitable for the job, but my girlfriend stalked her on fb and saw photos of her in her bikini and told me she wasn’t comfortable with me spending one on one time with her, so I had to hire someone else. All good, I understood why that would be sore point with her. Then we went on our a big Europe trip. It was amazing, though during the trip we did have a few spiky moments but we managed through it fine. Once we got back though, the wheels really started falling off. She had brought around clothes once we she came to stay with me and the tag had come off one of them as she’d come in. She found the tag on the floor and saw it was from a young girl’s clothing shop and I got absolutely attacked. I literally couldn’t explain why the tag was on the floor but she was convinced I’d had a girl around. It then turned into a massive fight and she admitted that she had been counting condoms every time she came over to make sure none were missing. Then she asked what the deal was with Kate (not real name, name of girl whom I’d met 6 months ago for the work drinks). I found this strange and said she was a girl I worked with. She then asked if I had anything I wanted to tell her. I said no. She then admitted she’d been reading my messages and found the conversation regarding that night we met up (because I had sent a message after the drinks saying thanks for the great night and thanks for the chat, hope you sleep off all those magaritas) etc. She got violent, threw stuff at me, had a complete meltdown. Screamed at me. Told me I was the biggest most selfish piece of **** she’d ever met. Wished she’d never met me. While I was unquestionably in the wrong, I felt very intruded upon having my messages being read, condoms counted etc, so I broke it off. She then pleaded next day to get back together. Crying, very emotional. She parked outside my house and bombed me with texts pleading to let her in. She confessed all these things to me.. that before we met she hadn’t been mentally stable and had in fact seen doctor regarding possible bipolar diagnosis. She confessed she’d cheated on her husband (kissed another guy), and then confessed she lost her last job because she’d been having a 9 month relationship with her boss who was married. And she told me she was in massive debt. She told me all about her childhood and I began feeling very sorry for her, and told myself she acted the way she did out of fear of abandonment and things that happened to her as a child that were out of control. I began to feel very guilty and took her back.

Things went ok for a while, though there remained numerous issues cropping up now and then but she was getting better at recognising them and admitting when she was being too controlling. She once admitted she’d tried to control and manipulate her ex husband but that ‘it didn’t work on me’. I told her I was probably a good fit for her then because that sort of **** wouldn’t work on me (at least I thought it didn’t).

Now and then though I’d start to see old behavior cropping up. Sometimes she’d come home and tell me my car engine hot and demanded to know where I’d been. Or she’d see a fireplace app on the tv that I’d bought while bored randomly browsing app store at night and she assumed I’d bought it coz I’d had a girl over. Or I once set up bitmoji because my daughter wanted me too and I sent one to my girlfriend, and she got super fiery and abusive and told me never to send her those and to just keep sending them to ‘the young *****es I’m messaging’. She’d routinely breakdown in tears in front of her kids. She’s driven drunk with them in the car. I actually did a lot of googling and research into her behavior and strongly believed she was BPD. I sat her down and showed her some videos and a lot of it resonated with her and she promised to be better.

Alas, problems continued.

You might ask why I’m still with her. The problem is I’m completely myself around her. I really do love her and I’ve never been able to be this comfortable with anyone. Sex is easy and fulfilling, conversation is deep and meaningful, she’s supportive of me, and I know that if I needed her for anything she’d come running. She can be very kind and sweet. I am slightly concerned that any future partner may not match up to that and I’ll probably just end up rather being alone. I am in introvert at heart and even that has caused many issues. She’s admitted wanting a partner whom she can be around 24/7 but I personally need my space to recharge. It’s no indictment on her, it’s just who I am. Multiple times she’s tried to break up with me in a fit of tears that we’re just not suited and it can never work and that we’re flogging a dead horse, but then straight after she admits she doesn’t care and would rather have me the way I am than lose me completely. But the more and more these issues arise, the more time alone I need because spending time with her can be emotionally draining. Incredibly draining.

Money has also been a sore spot for me. I’m very well off, she’s saddled with debt. I constantly get saddled with guilt trip messages… things like “ugh I’ve just got a tax bill and asked my dad for a loan but he won’t”.. I’d reply saying that I’ll help out of course, but she’ll bite back with “no no of course you don’t have to do that, not your problem x”. But of course I do feel incredibly guilty for not helping. Over the past 19 months I’m probably down $70k in transfers to her.. for the trip I didn’t get paid back, for never ending little things like dental procedure, tax, loans. She keeps dropping hits about new car she wants, or plastic surgery, etc etc – and while I can afford all these things and I’m not financially in trouble if I do – I really don’t want to feel taken advantage of. Sometimes I struggle to see where the line is. Because she’s my partner and I have a responsibility to her, I can’t just leave her to suffer if she’s drowning in debt, but at same time I can’t just magically solve all her problems for her. A few months back she asked me for $10k to buy new furniture so she could move house because she hated her current tiny house and that if I wasn’t going to let us all live together as a family then it seemed fair to her that I should help get her someplace nice at least. She knows how much money I have and often tells me hates me a little bit for it. She’ll often say she wishes she could just win lotto so she could buy us all a big house and that there wouldn’t be this imbalance.

The lockdown was also very trying and she had many meltdowns during it – we broke up twice, got back together. In the end I finally broke it off and said I just couldn’t take it anymore – we didn’t speak for 2 weeks – and then we met up again and decided to take it very very slowly, to not involve the kids at all and to just see each other every second weekend and rebuild. But already we’re only 6 weeks into that and there’s been a drama or meltdown every single week. Just last weekend we had a great lovely day on Saturday, awesome time, amazing, and then on Sunday she decided she didn’t like me very much that day and then had another meltdown that night and wanted to break up. Then she changed her mind and couldn’t imagine our lives apart. Then next day she turned up and came into my office naked and wanted to have sex.

And so here I am.. just sort of in limbo week to week never really knowing what’s going to happen next. This morning her kids facetimed mine (they hadn’t spoken to each other in months) and they played games together, and my girlfriend text today to say how cute it was they were all playing together.

I get so much affection from her, so much love and warmth, and then at same time she can honestly drain the life out of me and I need that time in between our weekends just recover. We’ve created so many memories together travelling and the kids all love each other and there just seems to be so much to leave behind if it all were to disappear.

Every time we’ve broken up, days pass and we inevitably just start missing each other and being so upset together because we really are best friends. But then there’s so much other stuff clouding the relationship that I just don’t know what’s real and what’s not anymore.

I would really love to know what others thing of this from a neutral, outside perspective. Or if there’s anyone to whom this dynamic sounds familiar, please tell me what’s going on here. I thought I was a strong confident individual but the longer this goes on, the more I question my sanity.

Help.
Too long a post. But she sounds quite frankly so immature and is stressing you out. Sounds like she has a drink problem too. I would move on and find someone better. You cannot seriously see yourself settling down with this leech of a woman. And she is bleeding you dry of money. You are just a wallet.
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#3
(Original post by unsureandlost)
I apologise upfront, but this could be a longwinded post. I’m in a situation which has me very lost and confused, and I desperately need the opinion and thoughts from others outside my family and friends.

Where do I even begin.

I’m 40, she’s 31. We met off a dating app nearly 2 years ago. We spoke at length on the app for a couple of weeks and connected right away, constantly messaging each other back and forth. We arranged for our first date to be at a restaurant. Half an hour before the date, she messages to say she got distracted with work drinks and she was still in the city, but did I want to come over and meet her work friends etc. I wasn’t a fan of that idea (considering we’ve never even met), so I told all good we’ll just reschedule. She got a little bit *****y and told me she’d uber to our agreed meeting place. I said don’t worry, I’d come pick her up. So I picked her up and she was totally wasted. We went to dinner and movie and had a great chat, and we were very physical in the movie (no kissing, but just lots of handholding and touching etc). I instantly felt this amazing physical connection with her. Everything seemed so easy and it was completely unlike all my previous dating experiences.

We met again the next day and had lunch, then had a third date a few days later (which was when we first had sex).

The text messaging increased and we would soon be messaging constantly back and forth all day. We both have children (I have a daughter, 11, she has two, younger), so we couldn’t meet straight away but planned a big weekend together. The sexual chemistry we had was amazing. Everything felt so easy, so natural. It felt the way sex was supposed to feel.

The next few weeks were great, we were always messaging constantly, sending photos to each other, seeing each other whenever we could. I introduced to her my daughter at a casual lunch, I met her kids. A few weeks later the kids met each other and got on great.

Then one night she had a work Christmas party. I dropped her off and went home. I didn’t hear a thing from her all night and I was getting little bit worried because it was in the city. I sent numerous texts. In the end she comes home at 3am stinking of booze and climbs on top of me and wakes me up and tries to have sex. I was still bit mad that she didn’t let me know if she was ok so I said I wasn’t in mood, so she threw a tantrum and went and slept in the bathroom naked all night on the cold floor.

I started having doubts from a maturity point of view at this stage (as there is an age gap between us), but decided to keep going to see how things went because we had such a great connection.

After Christmas, we had planned to go away glamping for two nights. But my brother and I had eaten out at a dodgy Thai restaurant night before and I woke up throwing up with food poisoning. My brother was sick too. I txt her to say there was no way I could possibly make the three hour drive up there but that I didn’t want the accommodation to go to waste (because we had paid and couldn’t get a refund), so I suggested she and her sister go up and we’ll go away again another time. She did not like that all. She didn’t believe I was telling the truth and demanded to come around and see me. I told her I was literally puking my guts out and in no mood to see anyone in my state. She threw a tantrum of sorts and insinuated I was making it all up and that my brother wasn’t sick either. I had to screenshot convo with brother to send to her to show her. She was still dubious so in end I let her come over so she could see. Once she saw I really was sick, she apologised and said it was past trauma of being cheated on in other relationships that made her sensitive. I said ok and forgave her.

We went away and had an amazing time. I began to notice at this point that when I was with her, we’d be ok, but when we were apart **** would start to go a bit sideways.

Anyway, come January I had to go on a trip with my family and daughter that was booked before I’d met this new girl. It was for 12 days. The trip started fine and I let my girlfriend stay in my apartment while I was gone. We chatted every day and sent pics and vids back and forth, but naturally I couldn’t message as frequently because the days were busy and my attention was on my daughter as this was a trip for her. But halfway through I start getting messages that she felt like she was being ignored. I laughed it off and said I’d give her lots of attention when I got back and wasn’t going to be forever. Once I get back, I head straight over to her house and she opens door and immediately lunges at me and kisses me. After though, she coughs and splutters and tells me that she’s got a bad and cold and sick but had to kiss me first because she knew I wouldn’t if I knew she was that sick. I felt very angry about this because I hate getting sick, and she knew that, and sure enough, two days later I was sick as a dog. I decided at that point that there were too many warning signs popping up and things that I wasn’t comfortable with, and I began to see that there really wasn’t going to be a long term future in this. I couldn’t work out whether her love (which she had already professed to me at this point) was genuine and healthy, or if there was something else going on.

The day after I saw her, I had to have a meeting with another girl whom I’m in business with. She had messaged me to say she had some news and we agreed to meet at a restaurant at 4pm to have a drink. She told me she was leaving the biz etc, I said no problem, and then she asked how things were going with my new girlfriend. And I kind of slumped and let out this big sigh of frustration and she was like ‘oh no what’s happening’. So, rightly or wrongly, probably wrongly, I started unloading on this poor girl about the stuff I’d been dealing with – mostly because I hadn’t spoken to anyone about it and I wanted to know if this behaviour was something I should be concerned about. We ended up getting another drink and drinking more, and she started talking about all sorts of stuff too, and we ended up staying there till 10pm and getting very very drunk. It was completely inappropriate. All the while I was there, my girlfriend was texting and getting very suspicious and angry because I wouldn’t send a photo of myself, or I wasn’t texting back quick enough. I told the girl I was with ‘look, this is what im talking about’, and the girl said that yeah it’s crossing boundaries and you need to let her know it’s not ok before it goes too far. I can 100% say that nothing happened between me and this girl that night. Yes I did find her attractive and yes I enjoyed talking to her and getting all this **** off my chest – but nothing beyond that happened. I accept though that that this kind of thing while in a relationship is not okay.

Anyhow, I get sick soon after that (after being infected by girlfriend) and I’m knocked out for like a week. When I get sick I just go into my cave and would rather not see anyone, so she naturally takes huge offence to this and begins questioning how sick I am etc. The text messages start to increase and I start to get questioned where I am, why I didn’t respond, what was I doing etc. Again I shrug it off.

We see each other again and everything seems to go back to normal and she’s happy and being loving again. We have a great time in each other’s company. We start joking about visiting Europe (because neither of us have ever been), and then before we know we’ve booked a big trip for middle of the year. Part of me knew it was questionable booking such a big trip so far in advance, but I’d always wanted to go and always wanted to share the experience with someone, so I figured I’d stick out the relationship and see where it took us. I paid for it all, and she said she’d pay me back when she got her bonus middle of year.

After that the pattern seemed to follow as below. When we spent time together, all was great, when we were apart, **** would inevitably hit the fan. She’d start having these big mood swings. She’d promised me that I had nothing to be concerned about in terms of her mental health, but I was becoming suspicious that there was something underlying. She’d get very moody if my attention was on my daughter too much, or if she felt like she was a third wheel. Over time she also got progressively more suspicious about my movements and activities. But again, whenever we were together, it was very intense and she made me feel very loved and wanted. She always made me feel confident and attractive and was always wanting to do anything, to help out with my daughter etc, always going over and above.

But the instability continued when we were apart. There was drama or meltdowns every week. I began to feel like I had to make sure I had messaged at regular intervals or I began to stress and worry about her or if she thought I was ignoring her. I started getting questioned intensively about all my previous dates, who they were, what we’d done. Got questioned about my ex whom I’d had child with, why it was that we were still friends (which we are for the sake of our daughter). These conversations never ended well and would always end in her throwing a tantrum and sulking and making me feel like I wasn’t allowed to have any prior relationships before her.

During this time she was wanting us to buy a house together and so we were looking, mostly because I became too afraid I say that I felt too unsure about the stability of our relationship, and we found that one that all the kids fell in love with. She put a lot of time into my daughter and they had become very close, and the kids had become very close, and so I thought well even though I have my doubts, there was enough upside to make a go of it because I really did want my daughter to have that family environment to live in. But I couldn’t escape my doubts and my family and friends were expressing concerns about the house buying, so I had to make up some problem with bank financing as a reason that we couldn’t get the house. She was very *****y and disappointed but I did feel a massive relief when that idea got curtailed (for the time being).

Our trip to Europe was coming up. I had to hire someone to run my business while we were gone and train them for a week before we left. One girl applied who was very suitable for the job, but my girlfriend stalked her on fb and saw photos of her in her bikini and told me she wasn’t comfortable with me spending one on one time with her, so I had to hire someone else. All good, I understood why that would be sore point with her. Then we went on our a big Europe trip. It was amazing, though during the trip we did have a few spiky moments but we managed through it fine. Once we got back though, the wheels really started falling off. She had brought around clothes once we she came to stay with me and the tag had come off one of them as she’d come in. She found the tag on the floor and saw it was from a young girl’s clothing shop and I got absolutely attacked. I literally couldn’t explain why the tag was on the floor but she was convinced I’d had a girl around. It then turned into a massive fight and she admitted that she had been counting condoms every time she came over to make sure none were missing. Then she asked what the deal was with Kate (not real name, name of girl whom I’d met 6 months ago for the work drinks). I found this strange and said she was a girl I worked with. She then asked if I had anything I wanted to tell her. I said no. She then admitted she’d been reading my messages and found the conversation regarding that night we met up (because I had sent a message after the drinks saying thanks for the great night and thanks for the chat, hope you sleep off all those magaritas) etc. She got violent, threw stuff at me, had a complete meltdown. Screamed at me. Told me I was the biggest most selfish piece of **** she’d ever met. Wished she’d never met me. While I was unquestionably in the wrong, I felt very intruded upon having my messages being read, condoms counted etc, so I broke it off. She then pleaded next day to get back together. Crying, very emotional. She parked outside my house and bombed me with texts pleading to let her in. She confessed all these things to me.. that before we met she hadn’t been mentally stable and had in fact seen doctor regarding possible bipolar diagnosis. She confessed she’d cheated on her husband (kissed another guy), and then confessed she lost her last job because she’d been having a 9 month relationship with her boss who was married. And she told me she was in massive debt. She told me all about her childhood and I began feeling very sorry for her, and told myself she acted the way she did out of fear of abandonment and things that happened to her as a child that were out of control. I began to feel very guilty and took her back.

Things went ok for a while, though there remained numerous issues cropping up now and then but she was getting better at recognising them and admitting when she was being too controlling. She once admitted she’d tried to control and manipulate her ex husband but that ‘it didn’t work on me’. I told her I was probably a good fit for her then because that sort of **** wouldn’t work on me (at least I thought it didn’t).

Now and then though I’d start to see old behavior cropping up. Sometimes she’d come home and tell me my car engine hot and demanded to know where I’d been. Or she’d see a fireplace app on the tv that I’d bought while bored randomly browsing app store at night and she assumed I’d bought it coz I’d had a girl over. Or I once set up bitmoji because my daughter wanted me too and I sent one to my girlfriend, and she got super fiery and abusive and told me never to send her those and to just keep sending them to ‘the young *****es I’m messaging’. She’d routinely breakdown in tears in front of her kids. She’s driven drunk with them in the car. I actually did a lot of googling and research into her behavior and strongly believed she was BPD. I sat her down and showed her some videos and a lot of it resonated with her and she promised to be better.

Alas, problems continued.

You might ask why I’m still with her. The problem is I’m completely myself around her. I really do love her and I’ve never been able to be this comfortable with anyone. Sex is easy and fulfilling, conversation is deep and meaningful, she’s supportive of me, and I know that if I needed her for anything she’d come running. She can be very kind and sweet. I am slightly concerned that any future partner may not match up to that and I’ll probably just end up rather being alone. I am in introvert at heart and even that has caused many issues. She’s admitted wanting a partner whom she can be around 24/7 but I personally need my space to recharge. It’s no indictment on her, it’s just who I am. Multiple times she’s tried to break up with me in a fit of tears that we’re just not suited and it can never work and that we’re flogging a dead horse, but then straight after she admits she doesn’t care and would rather have me the way I am than lose me completely. But the more and more these issues arise, the more time alone I need because spending time with her can be emotionally draining. Incredibly draining.

Money has also been a sore spot for me. I’m very well off, she’s saddled with debt. I constantly get saddled with guilt trip messages… things like “ugh I’ve just got a tax bill and asked my dad for a loan but he won’t”.. I’d reply saying that I’ll help out of course, but she’ll bite back with “no no of course you don’t have to do that, not your problem x”. But of course I do feel incredibly guilty for not helping. Over the past 19 months I’m probably down $70k in transfers to her.. for the trip I didn’t get paid back, for never ending little things like dental procedure, tax, loans. She keeps dropping hits about new car she wants, or plastic surgery, etc etc – and while I can afford all these things and I’m not financially in trouble if I do – I really don’t want to feel taken advantage of. Sometimes I struggle to see where the line is. Because she’s my partner and I have a responsibility to her, I can’t just leave her to suffer if she’s drowning in debt, but at same time I can’t just magically solve all her problems for her. A few months back she asked me for $10k to buy new furniture so she could move house because she hated her current tiny house and that if I wasn’t going to let us all live together as a family then it seemed fair to her that I should help get her someplace nice at least. She knows how much money I have and often tells me hates me a little bit for it. She’ll often say she wishes she could just win lotto so she could buy us all a big house and that there wouldn’t be this imbalance.

The lockdown was also very trying and she had many meltdowns during it – we broke up twice, got back together. In the end I finally broke it off and said I just couldn’t take it anymore – we didn’t speak for 2 weeks – and then we met up again and decided to take it very very slowly, to not involve the kids at all and to just see each other every second weekend and rebuild. But already we’re only 6 weeks into that and there’s been a drama or meltdown every single week. Just last weekend we had a great lovely day on Saturday, awesome time, amazing, and then on Sunday she decided she didn’t like me very much that day and then had another meltdown that night and wanted to break up. Then she changed her mind and couldn’t imagine our lives apart. Then next day she turned up and came into my office naked and wanted to have sex.

And so here I am.. just sort of in limbo week to week never really knowing what’s going to happen next. This morning her kids facetimed mine (they hadn’t spoken to each other in months) and they played games together, and my girlfriend text today to say how cute it was they were all playing together.

I get so much affection from her, so much love and warmth, and then at same time she can honestly drain the life out of me and I need that time in between our weekends just recover. We’ve created so many memories together travelling and the kids all love each other and there just seems to be so much to leave behind if it all were to disappear.

Every time we’ve broken up, days pass and we inevitably just start missing each other and being so upset together because we really are best friends. But then there’s so much other stuff clouding the relationship that I just don’t know what’s real and what’s not anymore.

I would really love to know what others thing of this from a neutral, outside perspective. Or if there’s anyone to whom this dynamic sounds familiar, please tell me what’s going on here. I thought I was a strong confident individual but the longer this goes on, the more I question my sanity.

Help.
Don't let her guilt trip you! And you have not said anything about what sort of counselling ,if any, has she had in recent times. She has abandonment, divorce and other issues that she has clearly not resolved. Hand that responsibility back to her and tell her to get help for her problems! Don't live with her or buy a house with her! let her sort herself out!
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