I am 26-years old and have been with my 39-year old boyfriend for two years. We live together and things are great.
He is loving, supportive, a great provider, faithful, God-fearing and we are talking marriage. He has a son and daughter from a previous marriage and we get along fabulously. When we first met, we were both working in the same place. He is very discreet and we decided to keep things hush-hush because of the drama that comes associated with dating in the workplace. Eventually, he got promoted and moved to a different division and we made things more public, although we still don’t “broadcast” our business or our relationship.
I am totally on board when it comes to this. However, I find that his discretion is sometimes a little overboard and I find myself comparing our relationship to his marriage to his kid’s mom. For example, he plays drums at two different churches every single Sunday. He has YET to take me to church with him although I’ve asked him to go several times. All he says is, “One day.”
I finally gave up on going with him and found a church of my own to attend. Then, his mom asked me if I wanted to go with her to his church (which is her church, too) for first Sunday communion. I told her that I wanted to, but said I didn’t think he would want us to. She ended up asking him about me going and he said he didn’t want me going because he didn’t want the old messy church folks in our business. But, then, I find out through his daughter that he used to take their mom to church all the time (I didn’t ask her this, she mentioned this as we were looking at old photos).
Another example is we have mutual friends at work and sometimes they have functions like birthday parties or crawfish boils. He refuses to go to these kinds of things with me because he doesn’t want to “broadcast” our business. Terrance, these people already know we are together and my boyfriend knows this! He always says, “They can know about it, but that doesn’t mean we have to flaunt it.” But then, I found old photos on an old computer of him and his ex-wife at functions at his former job! There are several other examples, but I know you don’t have all day.
This may seem kind of petty, but I get the feeling like it wasn’t all about discretion when you were with her, so, why is it like that with me? Maybe it’s because they had kids and it was different. I don’t know. I’ve never brought this up to him, but it kind of hurts. I mean, it’s not like he’s hiding me. He says he loves me and says he is happier with me than he’s ever been with anyone else. But, why does he feel the need to be so discreet all the time? I always say, people can’t be in your business if you don’t allow them to be. So, what’s the problem? Help! – Discrete Relationship
Dear Ms. Discrete Relationship,
So, why don’t you ask him? You say you’ve never brought it up to him. So, instead of sitting over there sulking, getting mad, angry, and upset over why he won’t invite you to his church, or take you to the company events and gatherings, then, how about you ask him so you can relieve yourself of creating your own drama and stress over it? DUH!
I’m sorry, but I’ll be damned if we’ve been together two years and you are still keeping me in the shadows. Hell to the naw! What you hiding? What you don’t want me to see or find out?
Ma’am, you better ease your sanity. Ask him what’s going on. You are creating all these scenarios in your head of what you think it may be, and the reasons for why he is not inviting you or bringing you to any of his intimate personal environments, but, you haven’t even asked him. SMDH! I truly can’t with you people. Grown a** folks in relationships, but scared to talk to their mates, or address issues that make you uncomfortable, or you don’t agree with. So, you pout, get mad, and live in your head because you don’t want to say anything. Freak that! You better speak up and say something, or you will fester in this drama, and it will eventually spill into every aspect of your relationship
You will get mad at him for going to the store without you. You will get mad at him for taking the kids out to eat without you. The point I’m making is that whenever he does something without you, then, you will question it, wonder, and get mad because he is doing it without you. So, just like you’ve asked him to take you to church with him, and he says, “One day,” but you eventually stopped asking once you realized he wasn’t going to bring you. That was the perfect opportunity for you to say something. But, you didn’t. You became the little girl afraid of her daddy, and afraid to question his authority. (I will get back to this later).
But, I want you to notice that I said he won’t invite or bring you into any of his intimate personal environments. Peep that! He won’t bring you to his church, and neither will he attend company events where you are not in the professional environment or surrounding. So, he’s keeping you from social and intimate places of his life. Why? He plays the drums at two different churches (giving him the side eye). So, has he had affairs with women in one or both of these churches and doesn’t want you to run into any of these women? If he loves the Lord, and he is shacking up with you, then why not bring you to church and show you off, and introduce you?
He claims he doesn’t want people in his business. Then, I’m curious to know if that is the reason why he is no longer with his wife. Did something happen where infidelity was involved, and it became a public spectacle because he or she was doing something, everyone knew and was talking about it, and he had to deal with the embarrassment and fallout from it?
Let’s get back to this daddy and little girl routine. There is this dynamic of authority he has over you, as well as control. And, sadly, you relinquish your control and power over to him. You allow him to make all the decisions about your relationship, and how it will go, or be seen. He is controlling your relationship. He didn’t want you discussing your relationship when you were dating in the office, and you agreed. He doesn’t want you at his church, and after asking him to attend you eventually gave up and reluctantly agreed. He doesn’t want you and he to be seen at the company events together, and you agreed. What other aspects are you agreeing to that he is controlling in your relationship? You are not a child, and whatever little girl daddy issues you have, you better resolve them and get to the bottom of them because it is showing up in your relationship.
You may say that you are not agreeing to them, however, if you didn’t agree then wouldn’t you speak up and say something? Because that’s what a grown a** woman would do! And, stop comparing yourself to his ex-wife, and what they did. That is silly and immature. Grow up!
And, just because he’s older than you, and he’s been married previously does not give him autonomy over you. It appears he may be a supervisor or department head on his job, but you don’t work for him, and your relationship is not something he needs to supervise or manage. Sweetie, he can’t control what other folks will think, say, or do. Folks are going to talk, but, if he feels he can control this by not introducing you, or bringing you around, then it definitely lets me know he has control issues, and something happened previously that he hasn’t revealed to you.
I wouldn’t put up with someone who keeps me in the shadows, and not bring me around especially if we’ve been together for two years, and marriage talks are on the table. No ma’am, no how, no way. It’s time you sat down, had a serious conversation, and have him share his reasons for not bringing you or inviting you. Then, you explore your relationship and reflect on how controlling he is, and all the things you’ve agreed to do or be a part of for his sake, and why you relinquish yourself to his desires or wishes. Don’t become his “yes dear” woman, or his “anything you say” darling, or I’m doing this because this is what he wants. You better get a backbone, some self-esteem, and let your voice be heard. If not, then you will always be silenced, and he’s already started stifling your voice. – Terrance Dean
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