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#218089 - 11/03/12 12:24 AM Relationship Question...
Whirlwind Offline

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 261
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I have been dating a man off and on (mostly on) for the past dozen years. We are best friends, even though we live in different cities. Other than over the Christmas holidays, I am the one who does the driving so we can be together. I am retired, he is not. But even when I was working a full time job, I was still the one who made the effort and traveled.

I recently lost my beloved 15 year old canine companion. Since I never had children, she was like my baby.

My boyfriend knew how hard this was on me, and how difficult going back into my empty house was going to be after the dog was gone.

He was off work for 4 days right after she died, and he didn't offer to come up and visit, to help me through this (a distance of 325 miles).

I can't help being distant with him right now because I feel like he let me down when I really needed him. Truthfully it hurt my feelings.

Am I making too much out of this?

#218090 - 11/03/12 04:54 AM Re: Relationship Question... [Re: Whirlwind]
orchid Offline

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3675
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
I'm sorry about loss of your faithful dog.

I'm sorry that you have had to put out the effort to see him. He's taking you for granted waaaaaay too much. It's wrong. I'm sorry. You need to have a frank conversation about how you feel. And don't use the dog's death as the lightning rod for this. It will be a red herring for him and he will believe you are slightly irrational about this if you bring the dog into this discussion. This is about you and him and how you have real needs also. Be prepared that this might jeoporadize your relationship. But life is short and you want your time spent well.

Dearie and I split time across 2 cities now, since I accepted a job offer. We take turns travelling, etc. He's retired 10 yrs. ago, I'm not. Yea sure it's complicated, but we love to make the effort to see and spend time with one another.
_________________________ (How cycling leads to other types of adventures, thoughts)

#218091 - 11/03/12 04:56 AM Re: Relationship Question... [Re: Whirlwind]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3212
Loc: Illinois
Hi Whirlwind,

Welcome back to the BWS forum, it's been awhile! And my condolences on the sad and sudden loss of your beloved pet companion.

We have just been discussing the emotional impact of losing a beloved pet in a thread that's in the "Pets" category, and which was started by one of our newest members, Marsha Roberts, in mid-October. That thread, if I recall properly, is titled "The sudden loss of my beloved dog, Shadow." I hope you will go find that thread and read all the comments...

Our pets become our family, as you well know, and for many of us pet lovers, losing a beloved pet has about the same impact on us as if we were to lose any human family member or a close friend.

I'm guessing your boyfriend is not a pet owner. If he were, I suspect he would have been much more supportive.

Perhaps it might help you to find the discussion thread I mentioned above. Through it, I believe you will find that many of us have felt a level of pain similar to yours at the loss of a beloved pet. I believe it is especially excruciating when the death comes unexpectedly.

Since you say you and your man are best friends, perhaps it might be helpful for you to try to tell him how you are feeling.

Men are sometimes rather obtuse when it comes to emotions, so instead of just being emotionally distant with him, it might be better for your relationship if you could try to tell him, in a non-accusatory way, that you feel he let you down.

You know, what I mean about being "non-accusatory" -- approach it from the perspective of "this is how I feel."

I'm sure others here in the forum will have some great suggestions as well. I'll stop talking now, so they can have the floor...

Boomer in Chief of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.

#218092 - 11/03/12 05:08 AM Re: Relationship Question... [Re: Anne Holmes]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3212
Loc: Illinois
Orchid and I were answering at the same time, and I have just read her response.

She makes some good points. Important to make sure whether you are simply talking to him about how you felt when the dog died, or if you want to make this a discussion about how it does not sound like you have a 50-50 relationship.

I sidestepped that one earlier, but it does sound to me as if you are not in an equitable relationship... His not doing his share of the driving is quite possibly a metaphor for a situation that Dolly Parton once sang about. You know: "All taking and no giving."
Boomer in Chief of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.

#218093 - 11/03/12 01:36 PM Re: Relationship Question... [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 10032
Loc: New York State
Hi Whirlwind,
Those [all taking and no giving] relationships are for the birds.
Have had a few of those throughout my life, found them toxic, and severed them from my life. If you really still care about this guy, I think Anne and Orchid have given you good advice. Tell him how you feel. I've learned over the years, it's best to be honest about your feelings, rather than being emotionally weighed down by hurt and upset. Sorry about your dog. I totally love dogs.
Hubby and I have two dogs right now and they mean the world to me. So sweet. So cute. So loyal. They could teach humans about love!!!

#218094 - 11/03/12 02:03 PM Re: Relationship Question... [Re: jabber]
Whirlwind Offline

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 261
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Hi ladies. Thanks for the advice.

BF and I HAVE had "the talk" in the past (and actually we broke up when he didn't pay attention to what I was saying). Once we got back together, things were good for awhile. It seems that once he is comfortable with "us", and he thinks I'm his and not going anywhere, that he falls back into the same pattern again.

This time I have let it go on for well over a year. You can't change people, I realize that. Do I want to keep living with it? I'm not sure.

And thank you for the condolences for my dog. She was a sweetheart and I'll miss her forever.

Hugs to you all.

#218096 - 11/04/12 03:45 PM Re: Relationship Question... [Re: Whirlwind]
yonuh Offline

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2447
Loc: Arizona
So sorry you lost your dog, Whirlwind. It never is easy to lose a furry baby. But the pain does lessen over time. We lost a dog and 2 cats in the space of a few months and were devastated, even though the cats were well into their 20s. If our pet companions have a fault, it's that they don't live as long as we would like them to.

As for your relationship, only you can decide if you want to continue. His thoughtlessness over the loss of your dog would be a deal breaker for me, but he may have other qualities that you value. So I think you need to weigh the pros and cons of continuing, as I'm sure you are doing.
Well-behaved women rarely make history. - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

#218101 - 11/06/12 02:18 PM Re: Relationship Question... [Re: yonuh]
Marsha Roberts Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 43
Loc: Tennessee
Hi Whirlwind, I'm new to the forums as Anne mentioned, but wanted to send my thoughts and prayers to you about recovering from the loss of your beloved dog. It has now been 2 1/2 months since Shadow suddenly died (he was only 7) and I still miss him every day and find it difficult to talk about. This weekend some friends of ours who we haven't spoken to since then, called to check in. I thought they knew about Shadow because their kids are "friends" of mine on Facebook, and they had sent their love to me when I had posted it in August. When I had to recount the story for them, I was choking back tears the whole time. So, I know about this type of pain - God bless you and help heal your heart. It will take a while.

I can't speak to the other issue, concerning your BF, because I'm very blessed in that department. But, I have had close friends over the years that I suddenly realized that I was always there for them, but when I needed their support, it was lacking. Tough call. May your heart know the right direction to go for your day-to-day happiness (so important!) and peace of mind.

Blessings to you,
Marsha Roberts
Author of "Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer"

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