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I hope you can help me.  I am at an utter loss.  I married young (18) to an abusive man twice my age and foolishly had two children with him.  During the entire time I lived with him, he would tell me how my opinion was of less value than his.  We were not equals in our marriage.  However, this was in direct contradiction to my personal belief.  I completely and whole heartily believe in meritocracy.   I eventually left my ex husband, barely surviving, with no money, two young scared children, 3 gunshot wounds, and a mess of broken dreams and emotional dents.  However, through the entire process, struggles, and tears there was one person, one man, who helped me.  He was what I had considered my savior.  Its been 3 years since that mess and my knight in shinning armor and I grew closer, eventually moving in together with my kids, his cat, and sometimes his two children. Tonight in having a discussion I have had some serious concerns raised where I have had none. Tonight he took something I said in a negative manner, which wasn't the way I meant it.  He now knows that, but in talking through the issue two items have caught my attention and I need some help deciding what to do.  1) I found out now, where before he said there were no inequities in our relationship that there is.  Tonight he told me that when it came to my biological children I have the trump card if we cant come to a decision, and I can over ride any decision he has, which to me is COMPLETELY wrong.  I do not want that power over him.  I feel that we should be doing this as a team.  It also meant that when it came to not agreeing on his children, he held the trump card over me.  This goes against one of my core beliefs.  I do not want either of us to have a greater deciding power than the other to me it should always be 50/50.  Plus now it makes me question his "love" towards my children.  For when I asked him Why a comment I said about his biological children would upset him, but if I said the same comment about my biological children it wouldn't upset him he came back with an answer of I do not have enough information to judge and he doesn't know why the different children would cause a different response.  The only answer my brain comes up with is because one set of kids are his biological children and anything potentially negative said about them would adversely impact him while anything potentially negative said about my biological children would not illicit the same response. I'm not sure what to do.  I told him we can not operate in this relationship with inequality that will not work for me and this would be a relationship breaker if he could not do so.  He said he would to ensure equality in all children decisions, but could not promise he would be perfect.  I dont know what to do.  Do I let him try and prove himself?  I was once in the other chair and having to prove myself and he gave me the chance, or do I cut my losses at this point?  Plus I am concerned about the difference in emotional responses from him dependent upon the children used in the example if they are his biological children or mine.  Do I stay?  Do I go?  Am I overly sensitive because of my past?  What about the different responses?  Is that because he loves my biological children less, he says no, that he cares for all our kids in this own way and has a bond with each of them, but does he mean that?  I thought he was it, the soul mate for me, but now i am not so sure.  Do I stay and give us a chance, or go?  Am I not judging him fairly and applying my thoughts from the past to him?   Help! I thought I had found my soul mate, and now I am not so sure.....

Answer
don't make the mistake of creating an issue where there may not be one; the problem lies within the nature of the discussion; the real answer is that it depends on the circumstance; in certain issues, the actual parent show have more say, in others, dissenting views are understandable, and would need dialog and compromise; also, when there are two rational, understanding adults seeking the same positive goals for the children, i don't see why this should lead to very many arguments; thusly, i wouldn't worry about it unless/until some huge issue arises that can't be solved...

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expertise: over 7000 questions answered...B.A. Psychology Bates College;graduate study, Fordham Univ. School Social Work; technical editor, "dating for dummies", 2d edition, by dr joy browne; thoughtful consideration of your question, then insightful advice about love,romance and related issues given in an objective, non-judgmental manner...over 20 years of personal experience in both short and long term relationships...longer term consultations are available upon request...life experience: personal involvement in many relationships where issues of love, sex, intimacy, trust, etc., had to be dealt with and resolved...just having "experiences", however, isn`t enough...it`s the thoughtful reflection upon and analysis of what happened and why, that leads to learning and enlightenment...so tell me what`s on your mind and i`ll try to help, or tell you if i can`t...thanks

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Over 20 years personal experience in dating, including both short and long-term relationships.Thoughtful reflection and analysis upon same, as well as providing imput relating to issues of love and romance to friends and acquaintances.

BA, Psychology, Bates College, Lewiston, Me. Graduate study at Fordham University School of Social Work.

Life experience can really be the only teacher in this area; however going through the experience is not enough. What is necessary is a real awareness, sensitivity to, and reflection upon what has happened, what has been lost, what has been gained. Getting beyond one's own insecurities and subjectivities, and seeing the experience in the context of the bigger picture, are essential stepping stones to learning and loving...ps..azure announces CT matchmaking service..for more, go to wishuponastar-ct.com

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