Loved, Lost, Left.
I recently ended my second serious relationship after 4.5 years. I felt I was unloved and unappreciated. I became what I think was just another household appliance. Fix this, make that, do this and in return I received nothing. My ex partner has 3 young adult and teenage children, her excuse was that she is a mother and she works and has no time for affection. I myself work 70 hours a week, yet I always tried to be a loving, caring partner. Now that I have left the relationship, she wants to make it right. I see here sincerity, but how long will this last, a day, a week, a month, a year? My heart is blackened and I have no more love to give. A loved her and the kids more than I have loved anyone or anything in my life. In my head the best thing for me to do is move as far away as possible and start a new life. Am I being selfish or just doing what I need to do? Please help, thank you 🙏
It really is a decision for you to make, however in my experience where I've had 3 long term relationships all over 7 years long (and now happily married for 12 years) leopards dont change their spots. What was missing in that 4 years wont magically reappear. The issues that were missing - lack of respect, domination, self focus and attitude are inground attitudes that can easily be dismissed when you are both apart to portray a person with a new approach and the problem with that is that they are only provable when you live together again and likely for a long period of time.
If you feel your emotions are so strong that you need to try again then a dating plan for a long time is the only protective way.
The other less problematic move is the relocation a long way away. This is often decided by scorned lovers. Yet if you moved a couple of suburbs away only, you'd likely not bump into each other and still retain your life and friends. Moving interstate is often done and it is a knee jerk that has ramifications.
I hope you feel ok and whatever you decide its for your best interests.
I agree with white knight in that this is a decision only you can make.
That said, I have had to go through growth in my marriage with my anxiety…I continued to enable what was slowly breaking me down, piece-by-piece.
It is then normal to get to a point where you break - normal response here is fight or flight…the flight is running from the relationship.
I decided that after years of running and numbing the feeling with alcohol, to face all my fears. To not be afraid of my thoughts, be honest with my wife and tell her I needed her to do the same to make it work…give her the opportunity to help me, rather than close myself off, not give the chance and then blame her for why I was angry, not accept that I was actually the one I was angry with.
Ultimately, my thoughts are you need to be totally honest with yourself and ask what would make you the happiest…how can you live a life on your terms with you as your priority…if you always put yourself second, how can you expect anyone else to put you as a priority?
Try to see this as an opportunity- it’s a chance to change direction (however that looks for you) to make your life as enjoyable and rewarding as it can be.
And remember - the best things are difficult…nothing worthwhile is ever easy, so be honest with yourself, courageous to trust yourself and strong enough to back yourself.
Initially, it must be tricky fitting in to an 'established' family - this already puts you on the outer and easily feeling secondary to purpose, so some of your conclusions may be self ascribed based on internalised fears more than any deliberate attempt to enslave you to the role of service droid.
Perhaps you are simply the most gifted in maintenance tasks (70 hours a week suggests you are good at your job) and you are being taken for granted on the assumption that it comes as second nature to you. The same applies to all skills, I am sure - my dad, the accountant, always got the thankless task of preparing tax returns, although he did make me do all the paperwork - maybe you could add your own 'conditions' in lieu of 'payment' - quid pro quo. However, I do notice that professional gardeners invariably have the most unkempt grounds themselves...
Possibly your wife does love and appreciate you but not in the way you perceive. Sometimes these things go on in the background without the song and dance - hey, even you might have missed them leaving your wife feeling unappreciated! As for affection, we all have varying degrees of desire for intimacy which doesn't necessarily indicate a less loving relationship.
As to separating, have you raised your concerns many times in the past or just arrived at the injustice and kept it to yourself?
As long as you still love your partner and her kids, you might care enough to extend some time to allow an adjustment to meet your expectations (or even compromise on both sides just a little). One must weigh up the emotional loss in equal measure with the discontent - that will be your yardstick.