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YES I CAN!!!
September 26, 2003
10:02 am
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Bob the builder
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I've been reading posts here for a couple of months now but this is the first time I've been compelled to write. I'm not even sure my story rates based on so many that I've read but I'm pretty down right now and I'm hoping someone out there can read this and help me make some sense of my life right now.

I'm a divorced dad of two and am 44 years old. By trade I'm a carpenter (yup Bob the builder!). About a year and a half or so ago I was working on a job and little boy next door had a broken wagon railing. For fun one day I made him a new one and gave it to him. His mom came out and was very excited I helped him. The next day she came to the job site with a plate of cookies and said thanks. We talked for an hour that day. Since that time our friendship grew. We'd talk almost every day and she told me about her life. Single mom with a boyfriend that just didn't understand her. I shared my past and we really grew into great friends. As time went on I'd go over and chat with her during my lunch breaks. Sometimes I'd help her with her car, hang curtains or repair the broken door while we chatted about things. As time went on we talked through hard times, when I got laid off or when her and her boyfriend didn't get along. We kind of played off each other. I could talk with her like I've never talked or shared with anyone. We were the best of friends and it never involved anything more (in a sexual way) but I felt we both cared for each other a lot. When times got financially tough for her I paid her rent, bought her groceries or would just leave some money for her. She cried the first time I did that and I felt wonderful for being able to help. (Some of that I think is left from helping my mom when I was a boy - my dad died when I was 6). I tried to do as much as I could for her as she did for me the same way. I guess it's Bob the builder - yes I can! I never wanted to tell her no or I couldn't - I loved doing things for her and it made me feel good that I could. She always appreciated what I could do for her. In the same way, she was there for me when I was laid off - she would call me each day and ask how I was, invited me over and cooked me lunch. Eventually I could see her getting stronger and more confident. As she got stronger she took a new job and ended her relationship with her boyfriend. Although those times were very rough we were a good team as we fed off each other. In the past year or so I started to really love her. Our conversations got longer and we spent more time together. In fact I took her son and my kids camping together and we had a ball. I was really cautious about my feelings as I didn't want to scare her away but I did start to tell her that I loved her. We talked a lot about love and she always told me how much she loved me but as a friend. I really worked hard to never cross the line that she had drawn, although I didn't understand it. We just shared everything together - we cried, we laughed, we enjoyed each other. People all thought we were married. But about two months ago things really started to change. She got her bellybutton peirced and changed her hair style and color. She bought beautiful clothes and had a real flair about her. She is just beautiful. I was so proud that she could be that new person but I also noticed how she talked more about how I should find someone. She told me I was a great guy and that I would make a great boyfriend for someone. She has started to go out all the time now and hang with friends from work. She's dated a lot recently as well. Last Friday I ran into her in the grocery store as she was getting cash to go out and she looked like I've never seen her before - she was beautiful. She's hanging out with guys that are a lot younger than her - I feel like she is a 43 year old mom who's living the life of a 30 year old single women. I worry about her as I know that she isn't what she is pretending to be. I think eventually she will be hurt again. But right now it seems being out and hit on by young guys makes her happier than what I have offered. I am just devistated. I love her very much and I care about her and her boy. We've done so much together and shared so many things yet we can't date or go out for fun? Why? Why can't she love me like she loves the 30 somethings? When I do see her the conversations are about her and what she has done with who - it's not about us anymore. We don't talk about our problems or challenges, we talk about who she went out with and what they did. I'll still love her with all my heart and I continue to try and do things for her or have conversations with her because it feels good when we are together - yet I sit here all night - wide awake thinking about what I did wrong or why I can't be the love of her life. I just see a wonderful 2 years going away very quickly and I just can't handle that mentally at all. I'm a total mess, I'm up all night, I'm crying and I'm just broke up over losing the one person who has made up my heart. I don't understand how this all could have changed. I wonder if my support and friendship was just what she needed to overcome the negative things in her life and when she got past that she also didn't need me any more?

Anyone got anything to say that will make any sense of this at all? Sorry this is so long but I had to tell the story.

Bob the builder - not sure why I can't!

September 26, 2003
10:20 am
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bel
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Hi Bob, you sound like a good man and IM sorry your hurting. It does not make any sence does it? I understand what your going through and I dont have an answer for you but so glad you posted that is the first step. You need to talk it out and deal with it. Maybe after awhile she will see what she has or had and come to her sences, she may be wanting to get out of her shell and live a little maybe before settling down? Just some of my thoughts but there will be others on here that will help you alot more than I can. Keep posting and I wish I could meet someone like you. 🙂

Take Care and talk to you again.
Bel

September 26, 2003
10:22 am
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typist2
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Bob the Builder,

Sounds to me like you need her to need you in order for you to feel good about you. By the way, that's no crime. It feels good to be an important factor in someone else's life and that feeling can be addictive.

You certainly can not have a one-sided relationship. Then, its not a relationship. Neither can you obligate her to feel for you the way you want her to. Life seems to be unfair like that. However, "weeping edures but for a night; joy comes in the morning". You've got to wake up and face your "morning".

September 26, 2003
10:30 am
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artist 2
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Bob, I really understand how when you love someone so much - as much as you do her - that it's hard to comprehend why they aren't effected by that feeling too. You wonder why they aren't swept away with love... I'm sorry you're in this situation.

I hope it helps you to know you are not alone. There's a song I turn to that helps me accept and understand. Some of the lyrics go like this:

"I hope one day you may have the strenght to say, 'I gave my love, didn't I? And I gave it big sometimes. And I gave it in my own sweet time. I'm just leaving... ' "

Thinking about hose lyrics helps me move past that feeling of what to do when there's so much valuable love, yet no one to receive it. Maybe she's not ready or perhaps open to that much love?

You did good Bob, in helping her. Now, it's your turn. Blessings...

September 26, 2003
11:14 am
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Bob the builder
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Well thanks for such quick responses. I've always been amazed at what people post here. I'm sitting home today cause this has just got me so down the last thing I want to be doing is cutting wood! ha.

I'm afraid of what has been written and what others might right. I know people will write that its time to move on and help me. But I cannot, for any life in me, think about just shutting the door on her and "moving on". It hurts so much today I can't even begin to describe it, much less think about just getting up and shutting the door. OMG no way. I just know what the two of us can accomplish and have - walking away just seems the easy way out.

Thanks so much for the nice posts.

September 26, 2003
11:41 am
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unhappy camper
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Hi Bob
I think you know that you are here because you are not happy with the status quo.

You don't want to end the relationship, but it's a painful one and one you can't change/control. You are being "used" and not appreciated.

There is a hell of a lot of pain to go through ending a relationship and it will kill you. That is in the short run. In the long run, you will flourish and will have learned a lesson and will be more vigilant in your next relationship.

Oh yes, there WILL be next relatiohsips! Count on it.

So, I'm glad you took the first step my admitting there is a problem. Take you time and keep talking about the 'reality' of the situation, not the pie-in-the-sky I-wish-it-was situation.

It's a process and I know that you know that you are ready to get started on it, slowly and carefully. It won't be easy.

Just like the rest of us, if we stay in our unsatisfactory relationships, we will just get "more of the same".

That is NOT good enough. It sucks huh? Don't be her doormat.

September 26, 2003
12:03 pm
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Anonymous
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Bob,

I loved reading your post. I can only wish I was loved in the way you describe.

"I just know what the two of us can accomplish"

What the two of you can accomplish right now is what is going on right now. Nothing else. The potential you see is based on your own thoughts. She obviously thinks differently.

I think you're seeing bigger potential in the relationship than she is seeing because you're seeing things from your own perspective alone.

What I would do is I would ask her, in the name of our friendship, to be totally honest and give me her side of the story, her reasons why she doesn't see the same potential I'm seeing. That would bring me back to earth and I would stop feeling like something 'perfect' was just an inch within my reach.

I'd say, gather the courage to open your eyes to the whole reality of the relationship (including her perspective), not only your own interpretation of it.

September 28, 2003
9:45 pm
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Bob the builder
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Well thanks to all of you who wrote. I reread these posts all weekend as I tried to figure all this out.

As most of you wrote this does seem so one sided and honestly unfair to me right now. Maybe I'm feeling sorry for myself tonight - I'm not sure but I sit here and wonder what she did all weekend and with whom. It's so hard to just forget and move on as we shared many great times together.

I'm not sure what the next step is. I need the drawings on this one! Is it best to just try and have no contact with her and not show that I care at all? That just seems so mean. I'd like to ask how she is doing but I'm afraid I'll just get a blow by blow of the great weekend she had. I know that won't help me either. I guess I don't know what the right next step is and how to make it hurt a whole lot less than it does tonight?

I know it's all about walking away but that thought hurts a whole lot more than banging my finger with the hammer. Thanks everyone for the support and thoughts. You don't know how much this has helped me this weekend.

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