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Dear Breakup Girl,
I have been widowed 14 years and have been seeing this widow for 12 , yes,
12 years. At first it was great and we have had great times, but over the years
I always felt that my needs were not met and she finds it difficult to talk
things out. I've made my needs known and quite a few times she would try to
change and would for a while, but would then go back to being unaffectionate
and not thinking about me and not doing all the nice things I do to her and for
her. She cannot share her thoughts and feelings and I never know what is on her
mind. If we have a disagreement she puts her head in the sand and thinks it
goes away. If I go on a trip I bring her back a little something. The times
she's gone away, she didn't think enough of me to bring a little something,
even like a rock or some dried flowers from where she was. I have had to beg
her for any little kindness or consideration, which she has come to expect from
me and which she does get.
I made out a form and asked her to share herself by filling it out. It had 4
#1 What can I expect from this relationship?
#2 What do I get from this relationship?
#3 What can I do to make this a better relationship?
#4 What can my partner do to make this a better relationship?
I filled it out and it had lots of positive thoughts. I waited a while and
when I told her we should exchange these she said she didn't want anybody in
her head, not even herself. I am ready to give up and move on completely, but I
wonder if it would be better if we remained friends and just went out
occasionally like to a movie or play, but not as we used to do involving family
functions and going away together. The sex was good but again I almost had to
beg for anything that I wanted since she never anticipated my desires as I did
for her. I am afraid that after so many years with her I would find it
difficult to be with someone else and to start over at my age (69 and she is
the same age). I am always unfullfilled and disappointed and she says that it
is too stressful for her to live with all my expectations. It doesn't take too
much to make a person happy and I know how to do that. PLEASE HELP ME OUT AS TO
WHAT MY CHOICES WOULD BE IN THIS UNSETTLING SITUATION. Thanks.
You do know how to make a person happy. You know how
to make YOU happy. And you expect her to do the exact same stuff, right back
atcha, like that awkward ersatz-intense mime game where you face each other and
mirror each other's hand movements.That's what's not working. I mean, maybe she
didn't bring you a rock (!?), but maybe she called you every day? Maybe she
doesn't do the nice things you do -- but she does the nice things she
does? You've got a totally fixed notion of what love and affection and
communication and souvenirs look like -- and I'm worried that you might miss
them when they appear in different forms. And when you get on your partner's
case for not bringing them home, well, of course she sticks her head in the
sand instead of looking for pretty sea shells.
I'm not saying your dissatisfaction is All Your Fault.
Maybe she is glacial and peevish; maybe you've already stuck around way too
long. But I am suggesting that you cast a thoughtful gaze around one more time
before you "give up and move on completely." Tell her that instead of
looking for squalls and flares, you're going to try and listen for the
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