Dear Mary: He wants to move in with me, but I'm falling out of love with him
I am in a relationship with a married man with grown-up children. He has not had an intimate relationship with his wife for some years, but they are under one roof, although in separate bedrooms.
He had been in a relationship with two other women at separate times before me. Unfortunately, they fell apart. Now he wants to live with me, but I am scared because I don't think that we can afford to live together. He no longer works, has no savings and he is claiming allowances from the Government.
Besides that, the longer our relationship continues, it seems to me I am falling out of love with him.
What should I do? He is a vulnerable man and has a history of depression. I don't want to break his heart for the third time. But what about me, my freedom and my happiness? How can I get out of this relationship? I just hope that we can end with a positive outlook on life.
Mary replies: At the very kernel of this problem is the fact that you are falling out of love with this man. It doesn't matter that he is married, that he has had two other failed relationships, or that he wants to come and live with you. If you find yourself less and less attracted to him, then why should you take the very serious step of allowing him to move in with you?
I am presuming that you are working and so would not be with him all the time, but when you live with somebody you have to actually look forward to coming home to them and to spending a lot of your time together. Otherwise, there is no basis for the relationship. I appreciate that you do not want to hurt him, particularly as he has been hurt before, but at the same time, he needs to know that you are having doubts. In fact, the second last sentence of your email says they are more than doubts.
You will have to tell him that you cannot agree to him moving in with you, because you are not sure that you even have a future together. Explain that if you were to allow it, you would be desperately unhappy, and then, in a very short time, so would he.
It is difficult to hurt somebody. He may not even want to be friends with you if and when you finish the relationship, so you may not get the positive outcome that you wish. But you have to put yourself first, and then everything else will fall into place.
The man I want has no respect for me now
Q I HAVE read your column and have wanted to write many times, so here goes. I'm a 40-year-old woman with a good job and my own apartment. I would consider myself attractive, confident and an independent lady, who has a number of close female friends.
All of my female friends have now settled down, so I'm the last of us who is still single. In my 30s, as my friends began to settle down with their partners, I began to feel lonely, and I still do today.
During this time, I met a guy who I was together with for a few years. It was a completely wrong relationship, mainly because I wasn't really attracted to him. I feel we stayed together because we were lonely.
A while ago, it all came to a head on holiday when he left after two days because he was suffering from anxiety. I stayed on for the remainder of the holiday and ended the relationship when I came home.
I know that it seems wrong to have stayed with him when I wasn't attracted to him, but I did put him first for all other things (such as cooking etc), probably out of guilt.
Since then, I have been single. I had one relationship that lasted a few months, but I ended it because I knew the guy would never get married. He had been married before, and it would have been unfair of me to put that kind of pressure on him.
I recently met a lovely guy, a gentleman, at a friend's birthday. I first met him 10 years ago, when I was single, and we really got along. We tried to get together, but another girl got in the way and it was left at that. I then bumped into him in Dublin a year later and we talked, but I was seeing the guy whom I broke up with on holidays, so nothing happened.
I then met him again at my friend's birthday, and we talked. At the end of the night, he walked me back to my hotel and had a drink in the bar. However, this is where it all went downhill. He ended up staying (alcohol got in the way) but nothing else happened. I have now made a decision not to drink on nights out any more.
He met me for coffee the next day and talked about coming to Dublin the following weekend, but he probably did so out of guilt. I could kick myself because I know that he has no respect for me now. I partied hard in my 20s and thought the way to get a man was to sleep with them. How wrong I was.
The problem is, I like this guy. He is the complete opposite of other guys I've dated. He has this aura around him, which I find very attractive. He is down-to-earth and he talks about going camping, something I've never done and would like to do. But I was very quiet and reserved when we met for coffee that day, so I don't know if he thought I wasn't interested.
I do like the nice things in life, although they don't dictate my life. However, I think this also put him off because I had an expensive handbag, but I only have it because of the hard work I put in at my job.
My mum always told me, 'Never chase a man', and I've always followed this advice. That said, I did text this guy, but he blew me out, saying to meet up some other time.
I now dread the weekends because I feel like a shattered person. I have thrown myself into the work because it takes my mind off him. Do you think he will ever contact me after what happened? Thanks in advance for your advice.
Mary replies: Like any other 40-year-old, you have a fair bit of history, which is not a bad thing. It must have been difficult for you to see your friends get married one by one when this has not happened for you. This is not to say it will not happen in the future, but you have to stop thinking of each man you meet as a potential marriage partner.
You never know when you are going to meet somebody who may become significant in your life, but if you give out the message, albeit subconsciously, that you are looking for a serious partner whenever you meet somebody new, this is very quickly picked up by guys who will then usually run in the opposite direction.
Regarding this particular guy, please don't be too hard on yourself. You ended up spending the night with him, which, in retrospect, you don't think you should have done. Then you were very quiet when you met up.
There is nothing so very wrong in what you did, so let it go. I don't think he will contact you again, because he put you off quite strongly when you sent him the text.
I'm inclined to agree with your mother – isn't it annoying that they're almost always right? Having received your text, he has your number, but apart from turning you down, he hasn't used it.
This could be for all sorts of reasons – he may have become involved with somebody else, he may be busy at work, he may not want to get involved, or he may simply not fancy you. I feel 100 per cent sure that it wasn't because you own an expensive handbag. Men don't understand about handbags, but that doesn't stop them from calling a girl if they want to.
I'm sorry not to be more positive, but I don't want to give you any false hopes. My advice to you would be to pick yourself up, stop thinking about him, and get on with your life. You are the architect of your own destiny, after all, so you should live life to the full instead of looking back regretfully. And who knows what tomorrow will bring.
You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting www.dearmary.ie or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write c/o 27-32 Talbot St, Dublin 1.
All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately
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