Mixed Feelings

For some time now I have had mixed feelings about someone I’ve been dating for about 16 months.

The mixed feelings come from his behavior.  He loves me he loves me not.

He says he does but behaves as though he’s indifferent.

For 16 months I bolstered him emotionally.  My daughter tried also.  For 16 months we watched him struggle trying to find a job.  He worked under the table but sporadically   For half that time I worked to help him save his house from foreclosure.  Ultimately all avenues were exhausted and all effort was a waste.  He was served with eviction notice.  After all he hadn’t paid his mortgage in over a year so we knew it was coming.  That’s what happens in this economy.

For 16 months I remained positive though the outlook was bleak.  For 16 months I waited patiently for him to realize that things will get better.

He went out-of-state a few weeks ago to help his older brother build his house.  Upon his return he announced that he was going to move there and work there.


I asked him point-blank, “have you considered what impact that has on us as in what does the future look like for us?”

He simply said, “I don’t know.  I haven’t thought about it.”  Well….hum….ok then.  I have no say in the matter.  No right to a thought or opinion I guess.

16 months of times of chaos and drama from him.  It was sporadic but it was there.  One time we were out with friends and I looked around for him and asked someone, “where is he?”  He left.  What?!  Left?!   I went to his house the next day and asked what happened.  He got mad at me for some unknown crime I to this day do not know.  Things settled down again and a few months later we took a trip for the weekend.

On the second night of this trip he suddenly got mad again and left the restaurant we were eating with friends.  He was found walking down the side of the road.  It was a large event and there were many people around, including police.  Someone handed each of us a plastic cup of beer and I realized I was mad at him!  So I threw the beer at him.  He threw his beer at me.  I laughed then and said, “ok we’re even.”

But the police didn’t like that and pounced on him in a flash.  That sort of annoyed me as I was the one who first threw the beer.   Whatever.   I talked to the police, I talked to him and the situation calmed down.  We walked away hand in hand to give the appearance of peace.  However, we walked that way still hand in hand as I could feel eyes on our backs, into the hotel and we parted ways.  I returned to my friend’s home and slept a few hours, got up and drove home alone the 4 hour drive.

He had left his vehicle at my house and had to retrieve it.  He finally showed up a few hours after I did and started packing up items he had stored at my house. It was my daughter’s birthday and we had made plans to do something special with her.  He didn’t care.

We took a break then for about 2 months. Until mutual friends came into town and we were forced to interact with each other.  I don’t really know how it happened but we reconciled in a way.  We never discussed what happened when we were out of town.  That was his preference not mine.  I cannot stand having a pink elephant in the room and try to ignore it.

I received texts from someone he knows claiming he had been “sexting” her.  Oh?  I confronted him about it and he denied it.  Then accused me of looking at his phone.  Accused me of being crazy and he was pretty angry and left my home.  Some deflection on his part was there!  I did note that if it were not true his reaction was overboard.

Since he had to move out of his house he was slowly moving into mine.  He always acted as a guest in my home, getting up and going home to take a shower for instance even though I have three in the house.  He brought clothes over.  When I told him a dresser was available to put his things in, he ignored me and left his things in a box.  He brought clothes over on hangers and left them hanging in a walk way.  I told him a closet was available to put them in but he didn’t move them.  I did finally as the things were annoying hanging there in the way!  Over the course of about two weeks he would bring items over, his hand tools, some small cooking appliances and whatnot.  He was doing it ever so slowly.  I interpreted that as he didn’t want to be doing it.  Alas, he was out of options of where to live and it was going to be temporary as he had already decided and committed to leaving the state.

A few days after this “sexting” argument I went to his house.  He was still angry at me thinking I had invaded his privacy with his phone.  Well gee, really?  The bigger crime is that I looked at your phone?  Which  I did not do.  Rather than you ‘sexting”?

We left his house to return to mine so he could get his things.

While he was gathering his belongings I asked him if he realized that “sexting” was cheating.  He didn’t think so.  I told him I think so and if you were able to communicate with me or I with you then you’d KNOW I felt that way.

I mentioned that he’s never sent a text like that to me, why not?

“I just don’t see you that way I guess, never thought about it.”  What WAY is that?

Once his things were all gathered and stowed in his truck I asked him if he knew I view “sexting” as cheating would he have done it?  No.  Ok, I don’t know what to think about that.

This person he was exchanging texts with is a woman he’s know about 40 years!  Remember that we are not children, not teenagers and are supposed to be grown ups here.  Did he get emotionally stunted somewhere way back when?  Maybe.

I did tell him that it’s interesting he’d start this “sexting” thing now right before he leaves the state.  Are you sabotaging this relationship?  Break it off once and for all because that way this break won’t hurt YOU in anyway?  You can leave angry?  He didn’t respond to that.

I also took note of the fact that he’d gathered all of his belongings from the house, the garage, the storage, etc in less than an hour and mused how it took weeks to get those things into the house.  That probably indicates something.

So now it is the eve of his final departure.  He was supposed to come to my home tonight for dinner (planned a few days ago) but texted me late last night to tell me he wasn’t going to make it.  But he wanted to take my daughter and I out to dinner on Monday night.   He text my daughter this morning and said he had a lot of people to say good bye to but will try to make it to my house for dinner.  Tonight?   Ok.  Right there!  See?  Understand the mixed messages?


I have extreme mixed feelings about all this.  He wasn’t working and I helped him.  Now I’ve been laid off and he ignores it.  He is a kind and gentile man usually. Though I accused him of being self-centered.  A few days later he told me he agreed with me that he is self-centered.  He also has a bad temper that is a silent smolder at times.  He’s polite with manners that we don’t see much anymore.  We have a lot in common and lot of things we both enjoy doing together, i.e., reading, cooking, motorcycle riding, dancing, etc.

From the onset of this relationship he was the one who decided we “were a couple”.  At my house during a BBQ another man said he was going to ask me out on a date.  That’s when it was announced we were a couple.

I did ask him, “you plan on talking to me about that?”  He said he figured it was just time to acknowledge it.  All in all I was ok with his announcement since we had been dating for about 5 months at that time.  In retrospect it may have been a warning sign.

Equally, when he felt like it he broke up with me.  At times I wasn’t even aware we were broken up until after the fact when he told me we had been.  Though it was only for a few days, at most a week.   As always he decides where we begin and where we end.  I allow that.  I am absolutely cognizant of the fact he couldn’t do any of that if I didn’t allow it.  Why I allowed it?  I do not know for sure.  Because I learned not to sweat the small stuff.  To let a lot of things go.  To forgive and to not hold grudges.  All of those lessons though which I apply might just be wasted on him.

Ultimately though I love him.  I like him almost all the time.

Where we differ though is where I have difficulty:

  1. I need to clear the air whenever there’s a misunderstanding.  He doesn’t.
  2. I need to have clear communication at all times, he doesn’t.
  3. He drinks too much.  He has friends who are just plain drunks.  However he pats himself on the back because he will not start drinking until all the days chores are done.  Yes while that is true he does then drink!  Daily.
  4. Is he an alcoholic even though he can control his drinking?  I think so.  Is that then where the chaos comes from?  Maybe.
  5. He has been hurt and cheated on in the past (who hasn’t?) but hasn’t learned to reflect on them and accept his portion of responsibility there.
  6. He keeps his defenses up while I learned its damaging to do so.
  7. I told him a few times that I have insecurities and he responded with, “no you don’t!”  I just told you I did!
  8. I told him I needed to be complimented once every blue moon.  He said he didn’t.  Ok.  That’s not true really.  Everyone needs external affirmation.  He insists he doesn’t.  I gave him compliments anyway.  He used to compliment me.  He text me once when I was driving that I looked nice.  He had seen me on the road.  So he is capable.

But I ask for something he deliberately withholds that specific thing.  I see that as controlling.  However, isn’t that what most people want?  Tell me specifically what you need from me?  If someone told me that I’d be happy.  Oh good its clear and concise!

I view the list above as very significant.  Those are core issues which most likely will never be resolved are minimized in anyway.

I know I should just be relieved that the chaos is ending.  But I’m not.  Yet.  I have found this incredibly difficult process to accept.  I wonder if the difficulty comes from the fact that he is the really the first man who I even considered a relationship with since the passing of my husband.  He is the first man I guess that I loved and loved me since my husband died.

Is that all it is?  Is this man just training wheels for my new life.. in a sense.. for me?

I know fully well there’s a million people out there like me, in my position and that I will meet them.  I will meet another significant other when I want to.  I know that intellectually so this isn’t the end of the world.  However, this ending still hurts.

I believe I was an asset to his life.  I’m not sure he was an asset to mine.  I brought a lot to the table he brought very little.  He had not been with anyone nor dated another for at least 3 years before we were introduced.  I understood and was told that was simply because he was discriminating.  Now I don’t know if that’s all the truth.  He remains, at times, an enigma to me.

I cannot wait for sands through the hour-glass to pass swiftly through.  I cannot wait for it to be next month, next year or whatever when I know this won’t hurt so much.  I am impatient that way.  I suppose I could just say oh screw this whole mess and I’m done!  I want to, it’s just not as easy to do and feel as it is to write.

4 thoughts on “Mixed Feelings

  1. Ask yourself the age-old question: was I better off with him or without him? Was he the dreaded “bounce back guy”? Based from this post, I’d say you are healing (sincere sympathies, btw). As you say: I will meet another significant other when I want to.

    Cut and paste that phrase on your fridge, on your computer, and on your brain. That phrase is your guiding light, your mantra. :). Never settle for second best.


    • Trust me I go over that often, better off without him? Or not? Its a yes or no. I don’t think its about him though, its more about me and stupid choices or spinning wheels in the mud. He’s a symptom perhaps of something else…that settling for second best is something no one should be willing to do. I know that!


  2. Yes, relationships are so personal and friends tend to say, “Just dump him.” It’s seldom that easy. However bad it is, we are emotionally and (I believe) *chemically* involved. Intimacy, kissing, etc., actually mingles our chemicals. In a way we become kind of addicted to that person. If they are good for us, that’s great. If they are bad for us, it’s just as hard as quitting any other addiction. You have to go through the withdrawal, and you can only do that when/if you yourself feel ready, or if the other person leaves and then you have no choice. But once your chemicals get sorted out and you’ve been through withdrawal, it’s usually like a vaccination. You suddenly feel immune to that person and wonder what you ever saw in them. At least you are wise enough to know that you will feel normal again one day. It’s just a question of waiting it out.


  3. It’s so hard to judge other people’s relationships. They can be so “tangly” (not sure if that’s a word). Tangled into our needs, fears, our desire to fill a void. And some can be SO hard to let go of…whether they are “good” for us or not. What I do I hear you say is that he didn’t bring that much to the table….perhaps the situation can help you better understand what you really want at your table? Or maybe you already know, and you still feel confused. Nothing is ever clear-cut. But I think you deserve more compliments.


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