< Back to front page Text size +

Am I living his life?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  August 17, 2011 09:00 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

A one-day contest for "One Day" tickets:

Send me two sentences about the most significant day in any of your past relationships -- with the year on top. Here's an example:

2007
He took me to Plum Island and I stood on a rock so that I was his height. Then he gave me a kiss.


The most interesting two-sentence descriptions will win a pass to see the movie "One Day," which is based on a very good book. Send entries to meregoldstein at gmail by 2 p.m. with ONE DAY in the subject line. I'll pick winners by the morning.

I'm going to pretend I'm Anne Hathaway and read all of your entries out loud to myself in a British accent. Cheerio!

And remember to chat at 1.


Q: "Brian" and I have been together for about a year. I'm in my early 30s and he's in his mid-40s. We had a friendly work relationship for several years. When my husband suddenly left me, Brian, who is divorced, was very supportive. We became lovers and he was my knight in shining armor during the worst period of my life. Things eventually got serious. Now we're inseparable. We spend every weekend together – mostly at his vacation house nearby. We take vacations when our kids are not with us. He regularly invites my friends and family to his beach house and is very generous with them. He recently asked me (and my kids) to move in with him.

I love the time we spend together, but something bothers me. I feel like I'm living his life, not mine. We talk a lot about his work. We spend time at his houses, and now he wants me to move into his house. If I want to do something that doesn't interest him, he suddenly has to work or do something with his kids. If I suggest something that prevents him from going to his vacation house, he won’t do it. It's not that I don’t like going down there, but can’t we do something that’s my idea once in a while?

This extends to my family and friends, too. Every time one of them invites us to a get together, he seems to have an excuse not to go. He's OK with me going by myself but he won't go with me. When he has gone, he's been uncomfortable. He loves to have my friends and family on his turf and he's a totally different person in those situations.

I was also upset with him last summer when one of my close relatives was seriously ill. This relative had to have a procedure in Boston and I wanted my boyfriend to come with me for support. Instead, he stayed home. He did call in occasionally to check on things but it wasn't the same as him being there.

It seems that if something isn't about him or his interests, he's won’t do it. He’s even like that with kids. Brian gets this glazed look in his eyes when they talk about what happened in school, but if they talk about one of his interests, he's all ears. I've also noticed that his kids don’t seem to have any hobbies that don't match one of Brian's interests.

I've tried addressing this issue with him but every time I bring it up, he always argues something like "I thought you liked going to the beach" and then accuses me of being ungrateful. He also thinks I don't understand how busy he is with work and his kids. But if he has time to go to the beach regularly, is he really sacrificing something that important to do something on my terms?

I don't know, maybe he's right. Maybe I expect too much of him. He is very generous and very busy with work and his kids. Brian is everything I’ve looked for -- smart, ambitious, adventurous and much more -- and I'm very much in love with him. We have a nice life and we have a lot of fun together. Should I just be grateful for what I have or potentially ruin a good thing by expecting more?

– Why Can't It Ever Be About Me?, Boston


A: We all have flaws, WCIEBAM. Brian's is that he likes things on his terms. He's in his 40s so that's probably not going to change too much.

It's annoying, but his major flaw does force both of you to take some space from each other. You get to have alone time with your friends without having to worry about him. He gets to sit on the beach without distractions while you're off doing something with your pals.

If he were belittling your passions, I'd be worried. If he were avoiding your friends and family, I'd be upset. But he's just ... behaving like a guy who doesn't want to leave his awesome cocoon. I'm not saying he's right, I'm just saying that we have to pick our battles.

I am bothered by your hospital story. My advice regarding that is to be very clear about when and how you really need him. As in, "I'm not just asking you to hang at the hospital; I'm telling you that I need you there as a partner because I'm scared to death about losing a relative. Calls will not be enough today." There's no way to misunderstand that request.

As for the rest of it, well, it sounds like Brian isn't going to be your everything. Your best friends will still be your best friends. Your family will be your family. Brian will be the guy who offers love when you get home. I don't think that's such a bad thing, but you have to decide for yourself. Maybe after you move in with him, you'll be psyched that he gives you space to enjoy things on your own.

Readers? Is she asking for too much? Is the sick relative thing the same as the not-going-to-other-people's things? Is there anything she can do to feel like she's not living life on his terms? Help.

– Meredith


E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

 
ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

Ask us a question

Required
Required
archives