I met a guy on a blind date six months ago. We are the same age, 32. I’ve never been married and have no children. I’ve dated several men over the years, some for a couple of years, but never found the right one.
I very much want to get married, own a home with my husband, and have children. I have a college degree, a professional job and make good money. He lives and works in a small town an hour away. He is a good, hardworking guy from a different background than mine.
When we first met, he was attentive, sweet and incredibly romantic. He had been divorced for three months after nine years of marriage with no children. He was unhappy in his marriage and often said he dreamed of meeting someone like me.
I am naturally a loving person, and care very much about him. He is jealous and insecure. We’ve had to talk about it.
Here’s my problem: he recently switched jobs to a high stress, seven-day-a-week job. He makes good money but is so stressed it is taking a huge toll on our relationship.
Gone is the considerate, romantic guy. In his place I have a selfish, cranky, spoiled brat who whines about his situation, gets angry at me for any little thing, and shows no appreciation for things I do to help.
He runs a racetrack with races on Sunday. I work weekdays. We try to see each other on Saturday, but more often than not, something comes up. If I want to see him, I must go to his work and typically end up working too. He has begun to pay me.
Suddenly, I feel like an employee and not a girlfriend. But if I don’t go to the track to see him, I never will! I am becoming resentful because of his schedule and selfish attitude. It’s always job first.
Since his money is good right now, he often buys me gifts. I think it’s his way of trying to make up for the lost time. I told him I want quality time, but I think he’s just too tired. He says I am the only refuge he has right now, that everything else in his life is chaotic, and he can’t handle me making demands of him.
I feel totally neglected. Money can’t buy what I’m lacking.
Penny, early in dating, people often aren’t who they truly are. They are on their best behavior. That’s why dating goes on for a length of time, so each person can reveal their true self.
At first, this newly divorced man was on his best behavior. That’s who you fell for. Now he feels free to be himself. You’d like to say he’s not jealous, just insecure. You’d like to say it’s not him, it’s the job. But it doesn’t matter why someone acts as they do. It’s how they act that matters.
You want three things: marriage, a home and children. They may or may not happen. But nothing in your letter indicates this man wants the same things. To have a chance of gaining those things you need someone who loves and respects you, as you love and respect them.
You are right. Money can’t buy what you are lacking. What you overlook is that dating him did exactly what dating is supposed to do. The man you fell for on the first few dates wasn’t truly him. Over time, he showed you who he really is, so now you can move on.
~ Wayne & Tamara
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Wayne & Tamara answer as many letters as they possibly can.