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Thread: Need advice

  1. #1
    grafixgrl's Avatar
    grafixgrl is offline Member
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    Need advice

    I am 41 yo and my ym is 26. We have been married 6.5yrs, but have been separated for the last 6.5 months....he's the one who left. I still love him and want things to work out between us...but am not sure exactly how to handle things right now. He told me about 3 weeks after he left that while he loved me, he wasn't sure if he was IN love with me anymore. Ok...so he started texting me and flirting with me a lot starting the beginning of August and even asked me out on a date a few times. I turned him down the first time and went the second time. I'm a fairly aggressive woman (outgoing) and probably too much so for some guys and even though I'm now in my 40's, I've never been good at "game-playing". I see what I want and just go for it. My problem is that I'm having problems "playing" my cards right in this situation with my ym.

    Things have progressed with the flirting till last weekend we started something sexual and ended up sleeping together. He has now told me (in the last couple of days) that he does still love me and has realized that he is still in love with me as well. However, there has been no talk of his coming home...and while we have agreed to "take it slow", we cannot keep our hands off each other when we are near each other! I have told him that I am not interested in a bed buddy..and he said that he doesn't want that either and knows that I don't want that. When the sexual stuff happened, I was in the process of moving out some of the remaining things from the home we shared together (I had actually moved the weekend before this and we were back to get some small stuff and try to clean) and everyone was at the house to help...him, his parents...and although this wasn't the first time I had been there to get some of the smaller stuff, it dawned on me that little by little I was taking things from the last place we shared and eventually I would no longer need an excuse to go there...it would all be gone and all I would have would be memories. I became emotional went went to the bathroom to cry. He came looking for me and when he saw what was going on he pulled me into his arms to comfort me and one thing led to another....but we didn't finish anything. It was an all day make out session every time we were alone because we were starting and stopping due to the lack of privacy. So, we danced around the issue for a few days till he ended up spending the night that Thursday night.

    I am just having trouble knowing what to do. I feel like if I let the sex continue and there is no real talk of a solid relationship or of his coming home, then it's like why come home if he's got his freedom and sex on the side with me? On the other hand...when we slept together it was all that I remember and then some! It was intimate and loving and he admitted that he missed me...not just the sex...but me and the closeness we shared. So, I feel like this was a good thing.

    I just need some help and advice in where to go from here.

    Thanks everyone...

    G

  2. #2
    submart Guest
    I would suggest there not be any intimate contact while you two are seperated. It will make things emotionally harder for you, and he needs to fully decide if he wants to work on the marriage. Sex is a distraction from the key issues.

    I also suggest marriage counseling. See about getting together weekly for this and let the chips fall as they may.

    Good luck to you!!!!

    ~Mary Ann

  3. #3
    kat7's Avatar
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    Since you married this guy when he was still a teenager, or barely out of it, it's not surprising that he is now wondering what he should be doing with his life. He's at the age where most people think about settling down, and he's already been there throughout his early twenties, so he's thinking about finding the freedom he's never really had. That's not surprising.

    Do what you will re: the sex (which tends to muck things up and make emotional seperation that much harder, but admittedly is horribly tempting as well with someone so familiar...) but DO get counseling, either together or apart. Try and make this either a good ending, or a new beginning and see what you can do differently so that you don't end up at this place again should you decide to try and work things out.

    I do think you are experiencing one of the hazards that is so often talked about on these boards...being involved with a VYM. My heart goes out to you. The last six months have had to have been very hard on you. Hang in there.

  4. #4
    thatgirl Guest
    Maybe it's just me, but I don't see this as an age related issue.

    I'm wondering, when he left 6.5 months ago, was he involved with someone else or was he somewhat interested in someone else? Did he start to flirt with you again when things cooled down with the other potential love interest?

    I think another place for you to seek advice on this issue is marriagebuilders.com. For the issue you're describing, you'd be able to hear from MANY people there who have had this exact same thing happen in their marriage and it's interesting to see how many people have been able to save their marriages.

    I hope things work out for you.

  5. #5
    Rozie Guest
    I say ride the wave and see where you end up. Obviously there are still sparks between you, so I think the idea of some marriage counseling is a good idea. Sounds like this is not beyond repair. I don't think anyone can fault you for having sex with the guy. Just keep in mind that may be all this is....sex between two people who have gone without for 6 months and are very comfortable with each other. (Making some assumptions here because you didn't say anything about anyone else.)

    Good Luck!!

  6. #6
    tinydancer Guest
    It is good that you are not a "game player", he probably knows you too well after six years together anyway.
    What do you really want? Do you want him back? Was everything good in your marriage before he left?
    If it were me, I think that I would, as hard as it would be, would not be intimate with him until I knew where we were going. It would end up being too painful for me.
    He was very young when you married......try to let him see that, although you love him, you are moving on and he can figure out his own life on his own. Life alone, for a man who has been married for so long, sometimes isn't all that they might have thought it would be. Also, if he thinks that you truly will move on with out him, it might jolt him into realizing what he is losing.
    It might not though.......either way.......you will feel better being the one to call the shots for your own life.
    I hope that things work out for you. It is always sad to hear that a long relationship is in trouble
    Blessings, Tinydancer

  7. #7
    special K's Avatar
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    I am SO sorry that you are having to go through this. You have loved this young man for years, and undoubtedly invested your heart, mind, spirit, wisdom,and more than likely-some financial assets too...and now it feels like it's all crashing down around you. It feels like the rug is being yanked out from under you, and you are trying to regain your balance. I can empathize because I have been there.

    Because you fell in love while he was so young, he has a huge attachment component to you and is probably reassesing how that all fits in his life as a 26 year old man now. There is NO doubt in my mind that he LOVES you, and is obviously attracted to you physically... but he is confused.

    Unfortunately, I totally agree with Kat that:

    Since you married this guy when he was still a teenager, or barely out of it, it's not surprising that he is now wondering what he should be doing with his life. He's at the age where most people think about settling down, and he's already been there throughout his early twenties, so he's thinking about finding the freedom he's never really had
    I truly think the only way through this era now while he's establishing his autonomy is to go to couple's counseling. Do not underestimate the "power" of an objective therapist to help you both embrace your individual needs and independence WITHIN the context of marriage. Counseling would do wonders for your ym in helping validate his confusion, but give him tools to walk through it without chucking his marriage and life with you. And like others have suggested...if he won't agree to go, YOU go. It will build you up and remind you that "you are enough" through all of this.

    And, again like others have said....being sexual with him while he is is vascilating only makes you feel worse (because it reiterates the thought that you're "good enough to have sex with, but not good enough to be his wife") AND him confused. Because you still love each other and are attracted, this is the hardest thing in the world....but VERY important to do. Stop the sex.

    Grafixgirl....when you married him so young, did you have the full blessing and support of his family? Did he assure you that he'd love your forever and that the age difference didn't matter? Did he say things to make you truly feel like he was "over" his youth and ready to commit? Did he/does he seem more mature than the average ym his age?

    Very young men (in that 18-21 range) are often SO dear, and genuine about their love and devotion to us, because it's all so new and amazing that a wonderful older woman (like us ) loves them, etc. But not having been down the road of adult life very far yet, they are naive about the many roadblocks and potholes ahead. When they hit one a few years later, sometimes they decide it's easier to put it in reverse, turn around and take the detour route, rather than wait patiently for the road ahead to be rebuilt so they can travel the route they originally wanted to take years before.

    My exym and I almost got married when he was 20-21...goodness knows, he asked me to enough times and vowed his undying love. But then he hit his "confusion phase" when he was almost 22, and we didn't stay together in the end.

    Your guy is 26 now, however...clearly at an age where he is more settled in who he is and would greatly benefit by counseling. You both would...as a couple (if he's open), and absolutely as individuals. I am hoping for your reconciliation, if that is what you want at this stage.
    I'm sending you a huge hug, and hope for the best outcome for you...with a sense of peace about your past and your future.
    Best,
    Karen
    Last edited by special K; 11-02-2005 at 03:30 PM.
    "What the caterpillar sees as the end of the world, the butterfly calls wings."

  8. #8
    grafixgrl's Avatar
    grafixgrl is offline Member
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    Thanks everyone

    Thanks to everyone for the replies thus far. I agree with all of you. Tiny, I DO want him back and I hear what you're saying about moving on. I have actually been moving on with my life in the ways I can. He watched the kids last weekend and I went out with a friend...a male friend. He had all sorts of questions as to if this guy liked me...do I like him...did he put the moves on me...did we kiss...have I had any sexual "encounters" with anyone in the last 6 months...LOL

    He caught me off guard the other night on the phone after I had taken an ambien and I was a little ditzy. He asked a lot of questions and I think I toldhim some stuff that I didn't want to tell him just yet. I have NOT dated OR had any sexual encounters with anyone else...but I don't want him knowing that just yet. I feel that he might think he's got me "in-the-bag" so to speak. for all he knows, someone might be poised to sweep me off my feet! But, I haven't heard hide nor hair from him today. I'm on yahoo messenger right now and he's online at work and I've been visible for 15-20 minutes and so far he's not said anything to me...I haven't said anything to him either so...lol

    Anyway, thanks for all your advice.

    G

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    P.s...

    To all who suggested putting the sex on hold...how do I accomplish this now that things have gone this far? Besides the night he spent here, there was also another encounter and lots of sex talk in text messages. How do I gracefully back out after all that?

    G

  10. #10
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    Special K

    ....I missed your reply! You hit the nail on the perverbial head! Everything you said is right on the money. Thanks for your reply and for your well wishes :-)

    I wanted to go to counseling, but not sure he will. If he knew what he wanted, he may go. But since he's still in the "I don't know what I want" mode...who knows?


    G

  11. #11
    special K's Avatar
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    To all who suggested putting the sex on hold...how do I accomplish this now that things have gone this far? Besides the night he spent here, there was also another encounter and lots of sex talk in text messages. How do I gracefully back out after all that?
    Well, one way would be to suggest a time to talk genuinely about "where you both want to go from here." During that conversation start with reminding him how much you love him, and admit you are confused right now too. Use the "I feel" communication structure to keep everything non-defensive. Say things like, "I feel like we are in a sort of limbo state, loving each other but not knowing what to do with that. I understand that you are at a place of confusion about your future and how I fit into it, and frankly so am I. I would really like to talk about getting some objective input so that both of us could be clearer about our path from here. Would you be open to that?"

    If he answers, "What, do you mean counseling?" he could feel threatened that you are trying to push your "agenda" (getting back together) before he's ready. So, counter with, "Not counseling with any intent except to give us BOTH clarity. Maybe there are things we aren't seeing in all of this because our vision is clouded by personal things or past issues. Someone objective can help us take a look at everything realistically and point us in a direction that feels good to both of us, whether it's together or apart. I really only want you to be happy, and for me to be happy...that's what love is all about, I think."

    If he agrees to counseling...or needs to "think about it" (my ym needed to think about it, but a while later agreed, and it's been the BEST thing he ever did)... say, "I think that until we both feel clearer about our relationship and what exactly it is right now, it would be easier for me if we backed off of being physically intimate, sexual innuendo, texts, etc. NOT because I don't want those things with you, but exactly because I DO...it just makes it harder for me and more confusing." By saying that you are reassuring him of your total attraction and love, and yet somehow making it sound like your need for self control is the important thing right now rather than that he's "bad" for having been intimate with you.

    He may hate it, but respect you so much because you are drawing a boundary that screams, "I love you very much, and want you...but I have to love myself first right now in the midst of your ambivalence." It is a clear message of your sense of self worth (which by the way, is not only healthy but sexy).

    If he flat out says he won't ever go to counseling (with or without you), YOU go for yourself to gain clarity on what to do from here. And tell him, "Because you're not open to that, it feels like you're not ready to move forward toward a resolution of what you're confused about. I can't feel good about myself if we are sexually intimate when you are confused about where I fit into your life. I love being close to you, and sharing like that with you, but for now I think it would be better for me if we backed off physically until we agree we are both at a better place of understanding about where we're headed. I hope you'll understand that."

    Man, I really do wish you the best, G.
    Holding your virtual hand in support as you walk through this,
    Karen
    "What the caterpillar sees as the end of the world, the butterfly calls wings."

  12. #12
    special K's Avatar
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    G,
    I just tried to send you a private message of support as well as post on the board in your thread, but it says your account is set up not to receive pm's . So, I'll say it all here:

    We have many parallels with our ym, and I truly DO know what you're feeling right now. Although, we didn't marry, we got together when he was only 18, and were together for almost 4 years. We had known each other well as friends (he worked with me) for a couple of years before that too, so in essence, we were in each other's lives for 6+ years.

    I was figuring out how to leave a dead marriage when we first fell in love...totally unexpected and much to my horror at first! His parents-when they found out after my divorce- did NOT approve at all, there was judgment thrown at us from all angles, etc.

    We went on a trip to Europe together at a time when things finally started to feel like they were "settling". People were beginning to accept us (well, not his family, but friends, etc.), and we were more in love than ever. Paris was magical. When we got home, we went to a friend's wedding where K leaned over and whispered to me, "I want that song in our wedding" and squeezed my hand. I always said "wait" when he'd ask me to marry him, worrying only that he needed to get a little older to be sure. At almost 22, he started distancing...and then told me he was "confused". That he loved me and always would, but wasn't sure he saw us together in the future.

    I died emotionally that day, and it was a long way back to strength from there. If I hadn't gotten counseling with a wonderful, wise woman, I would still be crying (it's been 2 years)!
    I just want you to heal, and I know that if your husband isn't ready to do that with you, you need to do it for yourself.
    hugs,
    Karen
    "What the caterpillar sees as the end of the world, the butterfly calls wings."

  13. #13
    puzzledoptimist Guest

    I have a different take on it

    I read all your comments, and they really make me think about the role of sex and passion in a relationship. It could be that I don't know how to set limits, or it could be that there are more than one way to approach any life situation, and in the end, we have to follow our hearts. Sex is a gratification, at times. A physical need, but it is also a form of deep communication, a bonding experience, a way of saying the things words don't express. I just am not sure because sex with my YM is so different than sex with anyone else has been. Just touching his arm in an intimate moment can be a sexual act, but it is like our souls connect. Feels like food for the souls, relaxes everything inside, and gives clarity. Sometimes I think we humans mess things up for ourselves by thinking too much. We find ways to protect ourselves from the very thing we want the most. Intimacy, I think, is probably not safe. It is putting your heart on the line, no barriers, just you with another soul. We crave it, and when we are in the cardboard relationships that lack it, we miss it. But when we get it, we sometimes run into hiding. I am probably projecting based on my YM experience, but it seems to me that you two have the magic with each other. It makes sense that he is confused, but isn't that to be expected at that age? I am thinking that he is spending alot of time with you, wants to be with you, and is on his way back to you because he realizes that the love is more important than the experiences he thought he was missing. He needs to feel the freedom to choose, but you have been giving him that. It seems to me that everything is working fine, but if it were me, I would follow my heart, beginning, middle and end. I think you both need the security that the love provides. But I also think the counseling might be great. I might suggest to him that the counseling may make the whole thing easier, find new ways to meet both of your love and independence needs. I think that all these AGRs will require alot of understanding and adjusting as our partners go through different life stages. And that happens in all relationships. Good luck, and let your heart be your guide!

  14. #14
    special K's Avatar
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    Just wondering how your are doing, graffixgirl, and how things are going for you and your husband...
    You are in my thoughts.
    Karen
    "What the caterpillar sees as the end of the world, the butterfly calls wings."

  15. #15
    grafixgrl's Avatar
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    Thanks so much...

    My YM has been curiously silent for the past 3 days (read: ignoring me) and I finally told him today that this makes me think that what happened between us meant more to me than it did to him...that maybe he was not truthful when he said that it wasn't just sex...or when he said he was still in love with me. So I have decided that all un-necessary contact should stop until he wants to talk about coming home.

    He messaged me on yahoo and said that he's had alot of things on his mind the past few days....that he hasn't handled it like he should have....but we could talk about it sometime this weekend if I wanted. He said he would log on later and maybe we would talk then. I didn't go.

    I've thrown down the gauntlet...we'll see what happens.

    Thanks so much for listening and for caring.

    G

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