Things Went from Good to Bad

Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Male
I am currently waiting for my partner to decide on whether she still wants our relationship to continue after 18 months. She has asked for some space, which I have given her although I truly do not understand why this has all come to a head.

I believe that we have a strong relationship in all aspects, friendship, communication, fun, intimacy are all better than I have had in previous relationships and my partner agrees.

A little background, we have both come from relationship breakdowns which did not end in the best of terms, hers especially. We both have children from our previous relationship (I have one boy age 6 who lives with his mother, she has three boys ages 18,15, and 7 who live with her). We both own our own accommodation and began our relationship slowly in respects of introducing each other to our families but obviously spent a lot of time together. At that time I worked nights but I don't believe that this had a negative or positive effect on the relationship. If anything, its what brought us close together, I mean late night phone calls from work and days spent together in bed, we seemed to cherish the time we spent together and always tried to make it special.

For a long time I never stayed at her home but got to know her family at a steady pace, spending our first Christmas together at hers and going on holiday with our three youngest children, which was a wonderful time as were all the times we spent together. We hardly argued and have lots of respect for one and other. We continued with a passionate intimacy and our relationship blossomed.

It was then that I took voluntary redundancy and had to find a new job. At this time my partner supported me both financially and emotionally and even though I was struggling we got through it. I sometimes resented the fact that I could not do the things that I wanted to do due to financial restrictions but generally was happy.

We continued to make plans and talk about our future, as all couples do, like marriage, children and obviously moving in together. I know that this would have made financial sense and realise now that I pushed the issues too far as this is when things started to go wrong, although I was not aware of the problems.

I found a decent job before Christmas, but was still finding it hard to keep my place and support my child from the previous relationship. After Christmas I began to stay more and more at my partners leading to only returning to my own home when my boy comes to stay (mostly one night at weekends). This has led to my partner to tell me that she is confused to what she wants and that she believes that we want different things. She thinks that I want someone to marry and to have children with and to move in together and she doesn't want these things. She has also mentioned other little things that have happened (recent trivial arguments and things that have been said in haste) and says that all these things have mounted up. She insists she still loves me and has missed me while I have given her space and time to think and our intimacy has stayed the same passionate way right up until we had our last disagreement and this all began. She is my best friend and I genuinely like her as a person and honestly regret pushing her about moving in and was more than happy to carry on as we were. To me the good times far outweighed the bad and do believe she loves me and I am scared that she will get stuck in a rut and only think negatives.

What do I do, is it worth fighting for, what has gone wrong, how do I make it right?? Advice
It seems odd that on one hand you say you both agreed about getting married - but now she doesn't want to do this. She used to want to do these things. What it really sounds like is that she's had a change of heart.

People make all sorts of promises when they are in the courtship stage, in the flush of new love. Once people really get to know each other by spending in depth time together, they often rethink those impulses. It sounds like that might have happened here.

The question is, what has made her change her mind? You need to sit down with her and find out what is bothering her about the relationship. Surely after 18 months, you two know each other. What was it, that she learned recently, that would want her to pull apart now?

-- from Lisa
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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