Are these alarms bells or am I my own problem?

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Are these alarms bells or am I my own problem?

Postby Baelish » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:41 am

I really don’t know where to start and what is relevant so I apologise if this post seems a mess. I just don’t know if the relationship I am in will ever go anywhere, I don’t know whether I should give it more time or whether I should cut loose. Any thoughts and advice are much appreciated.

We have been officially together for 9 months, unofficially could probably say about a year. He is an awesome person and I love to be around him, we are comfortable around each other and I can talk to him about anything. He really cares about me and how I feel, he will go above and beyond to make me smile. If Im in pain or sick he will do anything he can to help me. He always texts back and never disappears on me. And we cant keep our hands off each other, constant kisses and cuddles.
After a particulary tough year of my life he took me on an amazing 3 week holiday on the other side of the world just so that my 30th birthday would be one to remember and we were not even together at that point. He always does sweet little things like buy me silly gifts, or bring me my favourite food. He always tells me im his priority and sure does treat me as such. This is just a teeny snippet of all the positive lovely things he does and has done. I literally cannot write it all down or even stress enough he wonderful of a boyfriend and a person he is.
And Im totally in love with him, like ive never been before.

I admit, I have major insecurity issues, I had previously been in a 11 year abusive relationship and it has left me damaged and Im still picking up the mess from it.
I feel incredibly insecure and have jealousy issues. This is new for me, I was never this person even in the previous relationship. I never ever got jealous and even though my ex verbally and physically abused me he made me feel like I was the only woman in the world and no one else would compare to me. I don’t have this in my current relationship, despite all that he does, I just don’t feel like im the one he most desires. My guard was extremely high when we first got together and was like that for about 4 months till it just broke down in one go and I fell for him so fast I couldn’t even comprehend how or why and it left me feeling wide open and vunerable.

I guess this is my own problem I have to face and its not something he can fix but heres where it gets a little complicated and here is why im insecure.

My boyfriend is from the middle east, but he was born here, spent childhood there and then came back here for uni. He is a muslim.
Im from the uk and was raised a catholic however I don’t practise any religion but not against it either. The problem is…. His parents obviously want him to marry and settle down with someone of the same background as him. They have no clue he is dating me, having asked him what they would think he tactfully worded it which left me in no doubt that his mum would not be happy. He is close with his mum and being the only boy in the family this is not a good situation for me. He is 27 and says his mum occasionally pushes him on finding someone and in his own words he says ‘this is a situation he has to manage’. We recently went away for xmas and new years and he had to book two separate flight tickets (same flight) so that his parents didn’t see he was going with a girl. Upon return from holiday his dad picked him up from the airport and I had to walk behind him like I didn’t know him. It was severely hurtful for me to do. I do have some understanding as to why this is the case, I know that dating is forbidden. But on the other hand this is really strange for me, Ive never been kept a secret before and as time progresses im finding it harder and more painful to deal with. Im also petrified after reading many a horror story that I am just temporary until he feels ready to settle down and let his mum find someone for him. Ive expressed this fear to him and he has tried to assure me that this isn’t a dead ended relationship and that if we were to get serious (which means decide to marry) he would resolve this. I told him I hated being kept a secret, he said he knows and at some point this will change.
He tries to say that he is in the same situation with my family. Which isn’t really the case. Ok yes, my parents wouldn’t be too happy either, but the difference is that he has met 2 of my aunts, my sister and a brief meeting with my mum (by accident). She thinks we are just friends but im sure deep down she must know because she knows im always spending time with him and have been on two holidays together.

Another negative point from this is the fact that we both still live in our family home. Therefore it is a rare occasion that we spend the whole night with each other. And I mean rarely. This bothers me a lot.
On a different matter, there is the issue of the ‘L’ word. Ive been dying to say it for so long. Back in the summer last year I hinted heavily at it and he said when im ready to say it he wouldn’t shoot me down. Then a few days later said to me that he thought it was way too early to say it. So after a discussion I left it. I left it for 5 months and recently brought it up again within a discussion which I lead about us not progressing. He was open and said that he doesn’t want things to move fast and that hes not quite there yet, although he said there is no doubt in his mind that he does love me he feels as if hes not ready to take that step and that things will change and progress too fast and that he doesn’t know what things he wants for himself and his own path just yet and doesn’t want to progress til he feels more sure in his future.
I didn’t push him but in reality I don’t feel like we are progressing, I feel he is very happy to keep us at the point we are already in.
Because that is his personality, he is extremely comfortable living in his comfort zone and doesn’t take any leaps of faith and always has to be so certain of anything before he makes a decision and if he doesn’t have to make it he wont. Hes even like that in his career.
This is now becoming a constant worry for me. I know no one can predict the future but im really scared that we wont ever go further than the point we are now.
I cant afford to move out from my mums as my ex left me in a lot of debt and he wont move out of his family home so I cant see how we will enjoy spending nights together any time soon, I don’t know how he can on the surface seem ok with this, although he tells me he is far from ok with it and knows its not a fair balance. Yet im bursting just to fall asleep and wake up in his arms. He is just so calm and doesn’t let it get to him, I struggle really hard to understand this along with how he is not bursting to tell me he loves me even though we both know he has loved me for far longer than I him (we have had discussions to length about how long he wanted to be with me as we’ve worked together for many years and I had no idea).

Im 31 soon, and everyone around me is marrying and having babies and these are the things I want so badly so I also know this is adding to the way im feeling quite a lot. Coupled with the fact I wasted the whole of my 20s waiting for my ex to be the partner I always hoped he could be and now I feel like I don’t want to waste my life anymore, I don’t want to waste time being in a relationship that wont lead to marriage and kids.

Im very frightened and just don’t know what to think. I know a lot of this is my own messed up mind but I also can see a lot of factors that are ringing some alarms. He always tells me to think of all the positive things he has done just for me, and that I should remember all the good things when I feel insecure. I don’t want to push him away but this is my life and I don’t want to get things wrong again.
I know 9 months is not a long time, but I don’t want it to get to the point where I realise years down the line that ive wasted more time. I have people at work (that know us both) if I see a future and how long am I going to give it. I don’t think even they have faith in us lasting.

Does this relationship have potential or will it be stuck in limbo?
Am I the problem? Am I stressing over nothing?
Thank you for reading and please share your advice with me :cry:
Baelish
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Re: Are these alarms bells or am I my own problem?

Postby dirty little secret » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:30 am

Hello,

He seems like a nice guy and he made quite a lot of effort to make you feel special like going on holidays etc.

I have a lot of friends who are in a marriage or relationship where both parties are not from the same cultural background but their relationships works because both are willing to compromise or sacrifice. I guess because they both love each other.

This is probably not easy for him and finding to courage to tell his parents can be quite difficult. The thing is he is an adult. And he is in a country where he can be as free as he can be to be with anybody he wants. His parents may not like it or support him but if he loves you enough he will take a chance.

And tbh and I try not to be harsh but it seems like he needs to grow up a little bit, man up I meant. He needs to be more independent. But you can't wait for that to happen, it may never happen.

As you said, you wasted your 20's, are you willing to waste more time?

And you have the right to feel the way you feel. I would too, love to have a man who is proud of me and shows me off to everyone he knows. Its kinda reassuring and comforting. If you have personal issues, then this relationship is not good for you because you will be dealing with this for your entire life if you ended with him. His family will be number one, their opinion will matter more than yours. And you will be forever feeling that there is 3 of you in the relationship.

Dont hurt yourself. 30 is still young.

Good luck and all the best!
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Re: Are these alarms bells or am I my own problem?

Postby Bel Bel » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:20 pm

You could give him an ultimatum and tell him you will leave if you can't be a normal couple.
You can give him a time limit to sort it.
If he really loves you he will find a way. If his faith and parents opinion mean more you will get your answer.
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Re: Are these alarms bells or am I my own problem?

Postby Baelish » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:29 pm

Thank you both for your reply, its not the first time someone has said that they think he needs to grow up a little...
Bel Bel, it might be too early to use the ultimatum card just yet, i think im going to give this relationship more time maybe after this summer and see how this has progressed by then, because aside from these issues the rest of the relationship is great.
If its not shown signs of progression and im still feeling so unsure im pretty certain my patience will run too thin by then and ill be forced to issue an ultimatum. I dont want it to come to that.
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Re: Are these alarms bells or am I my own problem?

Postby David020549 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:12 pm

It rather sounds like he has a traditional Muslim family, you can guarantee that major family pressure will be on him to follow those traditions. That is the way that Islam works, if you and any children you have are willing to accept that then continue with the relationship, mixed race couples often get along fine but mix culture and faith and one side or other will have to change.
If you want to lead a secular western lifestyle, he does not sound a good prospect.
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Re: Are these alarms bells or am I my own problem?

Postby Minna » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:55 pm

Hi there Baelish

I'm sorry to hear about the problems you are having with your Muslim boyfriend. I agree with David that it sounds like your boyfriend's family is very traditional and that will mean problems ahead for your relationship.

I hate to say this, but I suspect that your relationship, ultimately, has nowhere to go.

I think he realises this, and that is why he tries to please you by doing things that will make you happy and buying you nice gifts, etc. This would be lovely in a "normal" relationship, but I think that he is using the nice things as a "pay-off" because he realises that the you/his family situation is not as it should be, otherwise, for example, why would you have to buy separate air tickets and "arrive" separately?

He loves having you as his girlfriend, and I'm sure he does love you, but it sounds as if he is just not strong enough to show his love by standing proudly by you and saying to his family "This is the girl who I love and want to marry. She is not a Muslim. I hope you will be happy for us, but please be aware that we will be together in the future, either with your blessing - or at least with your understanding - or without".

Sadly I'm pretty certain that, when "push comes to shove" he will go along with what his family wishes him to do - i.e. "marry a good Muslim girl" - and I think you subconsciously think this too? Meanwhile, he will put his head in the sand and just enjoy your relationship, with no real strings attached, until such time as family tradition calls and he can ignore it no longer. Fine, but this is not what YOU want, is it?

I'm sorry to be so negative, and of course you have every right to ignore me and tell me to shove off but, as others have said, I think its sensible to set him an ultimatum. I know it must be very tempting to let things just slide along, especially as you are both in love. But for your own sake (and his) you must be the strong one in this situation and bring things to a head (ultimatum). Then you will know exactly whether you have a future together or not.

Good luck.
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Re: Are these alarms bells or am I my own problem?

Postby Bel Bel » Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:45 pm

Some very good points have been raised by Minna.

What happens if he does stand up and they accept you but you and your kids have to become Muslim and live by there rules?
If he was going to stand up to them i think he would have done it by now instead of lying and sneaking around.

Whilst you waste time on a relationship that is going nowhere you are robbing yourself of the chance to meet the one.
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Re: Are these alarms bells or am I my own problem?

Postby Baelish » Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:27 pm

Hey, thanks again for your replies.
Im not offended and appreciate your honesty alot.
Also, the points made are my own fears and in a way nice to have other people recognise them and so now i dont feel so crazy.
He finally told me he loved me on valentines day. Whilst it was really lovely to hear it did not make me feel anymore secure.
Its my bday this week and im flying out to meet him in his home country for the first time.
today i got a message saying he was out with friends before the group disbands, so I just replied saying i guess i wont be meeting any of them yet, to which he responsed 'we'll see whos available'.
How very convenient that they may not be available when i visit.
This has made me feel like absolute poo.
Im suppose to be feeling excited and happy about this trip.

I think you all may be right, it might be time to sit down and have a serious talk about this all and give 'an ultimatum'.
Please can I ask for advice on how to approach the subject so its a calm discussion and so I get my feelings across clearly? Im a very emotional person.
What do I ask of him to do?
What do i say when he inevitably replies 'its too early for this and im not where you are'

Deep down in my heart, I do not see a good outcome. This is really hard and im hurting alot. Its beginning to get to me and its affecting my sleep.
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Re: Are these alarms bells or am I my own problem?

Postby snail » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:54 am

As to how to approach it, I would choose a time when both of you can get away from each other if necessary - i.e., not while on holiday together. Even if the outcome is positive, one or other of you may need time alone to process your emotions. On the phone or a quick meet-up in person when back home is probably better.

The other thing I would suggest is to be very clear about what he has to do to fix this - don't just talk about problems, but say exactly what solutions, and to what timescales, you need in order to continue in the relationship.

If he says no, then do what your gut tells you to do. It's usually right.
These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.

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Re: Are these alarms bells or am I my own problem?

Postby Bel Bel » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:35 pm

Writing it down often helps get it clear
You can use it as a script of put it into a letter
A letter is often good as he can read and digest all your points and re read it if he has misunderstood or wants to ensure he understands
A script is also good to make sure you cover all your points if you want to have a face to face
Of course you could give him the letter face to face but can't necessarily expect him to give a thoughtful response immediately

I agree about it being a neutral place where you can both walk away if necessary but i wouldn't do it on the phone if you can help it
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