I just turned 38 and I’ve been with my fiancé for about 15 years.
We have a 2 year old son and have been engaged and living together for about 8 years. The first 5 years we cared for his elderly father who later passed on.
About 3 years ago, I stepped out on my man. I ran into an ‘old friend’ at a club and we exchanged numbers and began talking every now and then. Eventually, we hung out and had sex.
“Why did I even bother with this guy? How did I even notice this guy in this way?” It’s not so much the person, but the fact that in our 15 years together I’ve hardly noticed the opposite sex. I only had eyes for my man, and never cheated. We were the best of friends. Partied together and hung out together. These days I don’t have much of a desire for him. I still love him and he’s a wonderful person, dad, and friend, but I just don’t get “hot” for him. He’s sexy and handsome and I just don’t understand where my “oomph” for him went. Maybe it’s due to being with this other guy?!? (Although this desire thing happened before running into this guy.)
I don’t feel like I want this guy to replace my fiancé in any way; I’m just feeling like obviously something is wrong with us if I even noticed this other person – noticed them enough to go as far as I did with them. What does this say about me? What am I missing? I so do not want to hurt my fiancé but something is not right and I obviously cannot marry him if I have these feelings.
We speak about how the “desire” is not there anymore and we say we’ll work on it. How? We haven’t figured it out yet. The last few times we did have sex I had two drinks. He had a wonderful time, but I was just like buzzed and going through the motions. I feel after all this time I can’t fake it with him. It’s not fair. I need to be honest with him, but I don’t want to hurt him.
I feel like I just need to sort of figure myself out before continuing to act out and hurt him. Obviously my desire for him is not there and I can’t say I won’t see this other guy again, but at the same time I do not want to hurt my fiancé. He really is a wonderful person and I just feel crumby for wanting to “do me” so to speak – especially now after starting our family.
I believe a lot of reasons for my becoming this way is the feeling that he doesn’t have my back in certain aspects of our life. For example: We moved in together 8 years ago after getting engaged. He lived with his dad but we spent a lot of time at my house (I had an apt. in my mom’s house at the time). A few weeks after getting engaged, his dad fell and fractured his spine so we decided to move into his house together and care for his dad there.
While we worked we had a home health aide staying with his dad. This health aide happened to be an old friend of my fiance’s who lived two houses down from us with her family. Oftentimes, when I’d get home from work (I got there first), the aide would be there with her family and friends doing one thing or another – making party souvenirs (she did this as a hobby or some crap), braiding someone’s hair (male and female), cooking pans of food for her house, or just looking like she was “hanging out.” (I still have a dent in my couch today.) Don’t get me wrong my “father-in-law” was always cared for and looked after but all this extracurricular stuff was annoying to me.
Why did I have to come home from work – a new home for me – and be subjected to a gang of strangers in my living room or a bunch of glitter on my floor? (Her attempts at cleaning up afterwards weren’t great – I sometimes found “weave” left in my couch or feathers from her party decorations.) I tried to be understanding of all this but at the same time I thought it was a bit much. I’d be frustrated every evening having to clean up after them (and we still had the rest of the night to care for his dad – feeding, changing diapers, and all that comes with that.)
I would tell my fiancé about these things and he’d often say things like “Well, what do you want me to do? She’s caring for my dad.” According to him, he would speak to them and let our frustrations be known, but these things would still happen. We went through this and other similar things for five years while we cared for his dad, but in the midst of that, something changed within us. Within me.
After his dad died, his 17 year old son came to live with us (he’s now 21). After having a verbal agreement for visitation and child support, the mom decided to take him to court for “more support.” The judge granted it to her. A few weeks later, the kid is living with us. He used to stay with us every other weekend, according to their agreement, then all of a sudden he never left. I understand this is his son, but we were living together and there was not a conversation about “He’s coming to live with us.” He was just there one weekend, never left and next they were setting up his room for him to live there.
I thought that was a bit inconsiderate that my fiancé wouldn’t have discussed this with me, but he says he didn’t know his son was going to live with him. He just did and his dad obviously wasn’t against it. (That’s a bit confusing to me still that dad wasn’t aware beforehand.) Again, I say “cool” and put this outta my head because it’s his son – no question.
Oftentimes, I do this, “put stuff out of my head,” like “Eff it, I don’t care…” I did this so much that I kind of stopped caring. I stopped caring about our life together. “You don’t consider me like you should then eff it.” I just wanted my home, my comfort zone back, but how could I tell him that after he lost his dad? Then I got pregnant. We started trying a year earlier. We love our son to death, but I don’t know how much longer I can keep living miserably. I certainly do not want to hurt him by saying “we need a break till I figure me out…” that just sounds so lame but I don’t know how else to go about this. – Not Sure About Us
Dear Ms. Not Sure About Us,
Well, it seems like a few things happened and are happening.
First, you were living in separate places when you started dating. You had your own apartment in your mom’s house, and he lived with his dad. Though he spent a lot of time at your place, however, it was your own, and when he left to go home you still had your own space, and time to be alone. I’m sure you appreciated having our own time to be alone and to be alone in your space.
Then, your boyfriend proposed, you’re engaged, and his father gets hurt. You and he decide to move into his father’s house and you agreed to move in and help with his father. Why? Why not keep your residence, and you could have stopped in and assisted since you agreed to help. But, why move in together? I think you moved too fast, and didn’t really think this through. I feel that you felt since you’re engaged and planning on marrying him that this wouldn’t last long with you living in his father’s house and helping him. It would be a few months, and then you and your fiancé would move on and into your own place. I also feel once his father was hurt, and needed assistance you felt the right thing to do as your man’s fiancé was to move in and be of some assistance.
Second, the home health aide, who was a friend of the family, and obviously someone that the father and your fiancé knew and trusted allowed her to come in and take care of the father. Therefore, the dynamics of their relationship was foreign to you. She obviously didn’t feel her side hustles, cooking at their home, and having her family hanging out at the home was a problem. Though, it was highly unprofessional, and on some ghetto –ish. So, you confronted your fiancé and asked him to handle it, and he responded by saying what do you want him to do? She is caring for his dad. And, though he spoke with her it continued for five years.
Well, why not call the agency she was employed through and who assigned her to the home? Why not report her and her unprofessionalism? If she did it with his dad, then trust and believe, she is doing it with other families she is a home health aide.
But, I suspect this is when something changed with you and he, as you say. And, something changed in you. Living together under these extreme conditions – For five years you were caring for his dad, feeding him, and changing his diapers, and then, the home health aide and her inconsideration for the house. This all took a toll on your relationship, and on you. I suspect you had a vision of what your future would look like, and you were not happy. You didn’t sign up for all this, and began to resent your decision. And, I’m sure this is when you took note that your fiancé did not have your back. He didn’t do anything to rectify the situation with the home health aide, and you made a mental note of this.
Also, notice that you stated how you still have a dent in your sofa from when the home health aide and her family were posted up in your house. That sofa and the dent in it represents your resentment, anger, and frustration. It is a constant reminder. I’m sure you complain about that dent in your sofa and it gets your riled up. Therefore, I recommend you get rid of it, and get a new sofa. Otherwise, every time you sit on it, and look at it you will become angry, upset, and mad at her, your fiancé, and his father.
Third, his son moves in and he doesn’t discuss it with you. There is no conversation about it. Again, you confront him about it, and he does the same thing he did with the home health aide and asks you what is he supposed to do? It’s his son. He is not going to not let him move in, and he probably didn’t feel the need to discuss this with you. Besides, you’ve been living together for over 8 years, and acting like a married couple already, so why does he have to run things by you? (Sips tea)
Do I feel it’s inconsiderate that he let his son move in without discussing it with you? Yes. Do I feel that his son needs to grow up and figure out how to be an adult and take care of his responsibilities without being an extra burden on you two? Yes.
But, you do realize that if you get married that you are taking on all of his baggage, children and all, as well as he is taking on all your baggage. So, you are inheriting a family, just like you decided to call his dad your “father-in-law,” though you are not married.
Look, it’s been 15 years and you’re still not married. You’re engaged, living together and playing house. And, during this time you produced a child together, and you’re still living in his father’s house. Your fiancé doesn’t like confrontation, obviously, since he didn’t do anything regarding the home health aide, nor about his son moving in. When you brought these things to his attention, you feel he didn’t take your feelings or cares into consideration. He simply did what he had to do for the greater good of himself and didn’t respect how you feel or felt.
You feel some type of way about it, and it affected how you felt and thought of him. Which, in turn, affected your relationship, and the sex. You didn’t feel appreciated, wanted, needed, or desired in all of this. Thus, you reconnected with an old friend who made you feel special. He made you feel desired, wanted, and needed. That made you feel good, and that is all you wanted from your fiancé. So, now you’re cheating on your fiancé because you are holding resentment toward him for not respecting you, for not acknowledging you, and for not considering you in his decision-making.
Well, you can either stew in your anger, resentment, and hurt. Or, you can get into pre-marital counseling, and figure out how you and he can work out these issues, which you have bottled up, and I’m sure he has some bottled up feelings as well. You and he have some serious problems you need to resolve before you get married. Work these out in counseling, and be honest about how you feel, how it makes you feel when he doesn’t consider you in his decision-making, how you don’t feel he has your back, and he doesn’t respect you or take your feelings into consideration.
Also, you have to end the affair you are having. End it today. The affair is your need for attention. Your need for affection. Your need for desire. If you don’t end this, and work out your relationship issues with your fiancé, then you will continue cheating, and you’ll find another man to cheat with.
You have to decide what it is you want, and need from your fiancé, and you have to figure out a way to communicate this in a manner that he will get it, understand it, and do something to about it. Your relationship is fractured, and broken. It is teetering on ending, as you’ve already started cheating, and hold a lot of anger, and resentment toward him. You don’t desire him any longer, and you’re thinking of leaving. And, maybe you do need a break so that you can figure out for sure what it is you do want, and what is it you really need. But, just know, that if you don’t get all of this worked out, figured out, and taken care of before you get married, it will spill over into your marriage, and you will be divorced within a year. – Terrance Dean
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