Need a Wake Up Call

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“I’m a divorced mother of three, two of whom still live with me, as young adults (21 & 24)…

“I’ve been in an on-and-off-again common-law-relationship with a man for the past eight years. He is kind, loving and generous when things are great between us.

We both have anger issues, (mostly related to our childhoods), that creep every once in a while, resulting in a very uncomfortable and hostile atmosphere at home.

We argue and disagree on many things. Our disagreements sometimes turn into full blown fights where we yell at each other, squabble and it escalates into name calling by both of us. (In the past, I have physically attacked him, thrown things at him and slammed doors, I’m ashamed to admit.) It is such an ugly scene, and I hate how we bring out the worst in each other. We are both out of control.

He can be very mean, defensive, stonewalls and is very critical. Last time he said I’m not a good parent and I’m more of a friend to my kids. I just can’t handle him criticizing my kids, I get very defensive.

After another disastrous blow-up last year in 2018, we decided it was best he moved out. We gave each other space, and continued our relationship that way. Eighty-five percent of the time things were great and our relationship improved. At home it was also much more peaceful for my kids, especially my daughter; she feels he is abusive, we’re in an abusive pattern and that he and I will never be a good match.

Now, she refuses to even talk to him and “be” a family. I understand where she’s coming from and don’t blame her for seeing things the way she does. But when things are great between him and I, there’s no place I’d rather be and I always have hope things will change for the better between us.

Because things were going so well in 2019, we decided he could move back in with us just before the new year. Nine days in we had an argument (about my daughter). He yelled at me, I yelled at him and my daughter intervened. She yelled at him and he yelled at her. It’s was awful… I told him (a few days later) that he owed her and me an apology. He apologized to me, but not to my daughter. He felt she was out of line.

He and I have done counseling once, for two sessions. We are motivated to work on things yet he’s always busy with work and things never get off the ground. We only feel we need to see a counselor when we are not doing well, and as soon as we patch things up it gets sent to the back burner.

My question is… Do I ask him again to move out? Am I not seeing that this relationship will never work? Is my daughter right? I feel I’m stuck between a rock and a hard spot.

I’d like some unbiased opinions from you. Tell it like it is. I need to wake up. For the sake of my relationship with my daughter I am willing to send him packing. I’m not afraid to be alone. Is this a doomed relationship or is there still some hope for the future? Thank you for weighing in.” -Anonymous


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22 thoughts on “Need a Wake Up Call”

  1. Wow! Your daughter has more respect for you, than you have for yourself! Let’s face it, some people make good housemates, and some make good friends. Decide accordingly.

  2. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. These words are usually credited to the acclaimed genius Albert Einstein.
    Why put your family through that type of anxiety? Live separately. Enjoy each other’s company when it is good between you. Live in peace!✌🏻

  3. My opinion you need to get counseling for you when you are better you won’t need this guy. You need to do this for you!!

  4. What happens with your anger when he isn’t there? How do you handle disagreements with other people in your life? I think you need to get some professional help with your issues around using anger as a response to difficult situations- but not because I think there’s something wrong but because you do- you say it right in your note. That’s the best apology for your daughter- to say that grown ups take responsibility when we don’t meet our ideals and we do what we can to give us strategies and courage to do so. I think the relationship with him is better seen through this lens- is this a relationship that supports my efforts to be a whole, brave, strong adult? I’m guessing that answer is clear- but the good news is that this situation is entirely your responsibility. And that means that, with help, you can change this.

  5. You need counseling for yourself. It doesn’t have to be couples counseling. Even if you end this relationship, which I strongly recommend you do, not for your kids, but for yourself. Until you get yourself under control no matter who you find this relationship pattern will continue. Good luck, I hope you listen to all this great advice you’re receiving. 🤗

  6. it will never be the relationship you want. you are not compatible and having world war 3 fights this often with no change in the pattern should show you both that it is hopeless, move on for you!

  7. So many “red flags”! Your personalities clash, 85% of the time is good but 15% you’re walking on eggshells. How is that healthy? Either you enjoy the drama or you’re afraid of being “alone”. There’s worse things than being alone; violence, murder, death. See the pattern? Yes, it’s scary but it’s much more healthy to be out of a toxic relationship than having your kids watching you suffer all for the sake of an 85% relationship. RUN now….don’t look back!

  8. I am astounded that you would stay in this relationship. Get him out of your house and do not talk to him or see him again. It will be tough, be strong. Get counseling and learn to deal with your anger. Your kids are adults. It’s time for them to move out and get lives of their own.

  9. Why on earth would you want to stay in this toxic relationship! You deserve a happy home and so does he, but it does not sound like you should be together!

    1. Are a lot of the arguments about the kids? Are you enabling your grown children because they are your “safety net”, they make you feel “needed”? You need to reevaluate your situation with the kids. And until you get YOURSELF and the kids in the right kind of relationship…those kids need to be working on their future and plans to get on their own!,…you don’t need to be in a relationship with a man.

      1. You already know the right choice here. Lucky you that your children are healthy and can contribute to your household.
        Anger can become a crutch/excuse just like anything else. Step away, do what you would advise the children you love to do in the same situation.

  10. The relationship has to end. You must seek help. You have anger issues (name calling, throwing things, physical abuse). No relationship will last unless you deal with and use the tools learned in anger management. Do it now.

  11. SeeMs like a control and toxic relationship. Seems to me neither of you have control of your tempers . Would be better to make a complete split . Your daughter obviously trying to help .

  12. What you will put up with is 100% your fault. The relationship isn’t going to change and your daughter isn’t going to accept this man as her family. And, you already know all this. My opinion.

    1. Get out of this toxic relationship now , because so day it will become physical. Besides your children come first . Number one cause of death to children is abusive relationships

  13. GET RID OF HIM! He’s toxic! If you have to resort to “things are good 85% of the time”. That’s not healthy! When the bad is SO bad it nearly outshines the good that’s not healthy! My children would come above any man, too, so…yeah…I’d get rid of him for good!

    That being said, the kids need to also grow up and work on moving out and into their own lives. Give them wings, mom!

    Then go get yourself healthy! Find out how YOU like living life! Be alone for awhile!

    Just my 2cents!

  14. What you describe is not a healthy relationship. You and your SO are not good for each other if the situations escalate as you described. You are BOTH abusive. Seek professional help for yourself. You can’t control him, but you can learn to deal with your issues. Your daughter is trying to protect/help you, because she isn’t seeing you protect/help yourself. She may not be going about it in the right way but her heart is in the right place. You need to work on you. What would you say to your daughter if she were in the kind of relationship you are in?

  15. Having read your letter as a stranger to you my thoughts are why are you putting up with him! It seems destructive to you and your daughter. Obviously he brings out the worst in you ,the disruption ,the rows surely that is not how you want to live. Hoping things will get better is really no answer.Unless you both change I can’t see a future for together.

  16. Sounds like a toxic relationship. It is almost a certainty that it will never get better. The abusive cycle will continue. Long term, as you already see, it will damage your relationship with your children. My strong advice is to not live together especially since your children are subjected to the fighting and disagreements. You should end it before one of the fights goes too far and law enforcement gets involved, or God forbid there is physical violence. Wishing you the best and hoping you find the strength to do what you already know you need to do.

  17. If the kids don’t like it, tell them to move out… At the age they are now, should be out on their own. Just my opinion, only get one life, better live the life you want

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