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    debee's Avatar
    debee Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Sep 5, 2014, 07:02 AM
    Feeling detached and like an outsider in the relationship
    This is difficult for me to describe as I'm not sure what it is that I am feeling…
    I met my current partner 2 years ago, we were both divorced with grown up children. He and all of his family have always lived in the same town, his ex-wife lives here and his kids. I moved to this town only a few years ago from a big city and I have a handful of friends. I work full time in the city so it's nice to come back to some peace and tranquillity.

    My partner and I now live together, I moved into his house as it made sense financially, I was at his place most of the time anyway, and was the next stage in the relationship. However, I still feel very detached from his family and sometimes even him. Should I really be bothered about his family at my age ? (45). His mum and his sisters and brothers all still have contact with his ex wife. That's fine, I'm not jealous and understand that it will take time to get to know his family properly. I'm not close to my family and never have been. I see my sister once a month or so and chat on the phone sometimes. I see my parents every few months if I make the effort to; they never contact me. My kids have all flown the nest and are still in the area but have their own lives now so I rarely see them.

    My partner and I go to the local pub sometimes and I even feel like an outsider there ! Nobody seems to want to interact with me and they all stick together like a clan, and I get bored without conversation with like-minded people. I'm also scared that I'm going to get bored with my relationship eventually because of all this, even though I do love my partner; he is a lovely, kind and thoughtful person.

    I am trying to understand how I feel so that I can deal with it. I sometimes think even though I am in this relationship, I am still quite lonely. I am an introvert by nature and although I am a pleasant and happy person, I do find it difficult to make new friends, especially at my age of 45. I have moved around the country quite a lot as an adult with work and the way I am feeling at the moment makes me want to up sticks again but I know that's not the answer. Maybe I just need to do my own thing a bit more, make an effort to get out more and make my own set of friends, get my own hobbies etc. I just struggle for time with work and to be honest I am struggling with 'empty nest syndrome' - it's only been a couple of months since my last child went away to Uni so I'm having to cope with that as well.

    I'd be really grateful if anyone could comment or give any kind of advice on how to deal with these feelings I am having. Has anyone else been in a similar situation and if so, how did you deal with it?

    Many thanks
    Oliver2011's Avatar
    Oliver2011 Posts: 2,606, Reputation: 746
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    #2

    Sep 5, 2014, 07:36 AM
    As an outsider looking in it sounds like you have some behaviors and traits about you that may be impacting how people react around you and how they feel around you. You do say you are introverted by nature so it could be the way you present yourself where people don't feel they can be close to you physically and emotionally. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just the way you are. So maybe looking at ways to present yourself differently to people might help you, if that is what you want.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #3

    Sep 5, 2014, 11:16 AM
    We can't possibly know the depth of your feelings for him, but from the way you write, you aren't head over heels - not even close. It sounds nice and comfortable, which isn't a bad way to feel at age 45, but I would hope for a little more shared interests in life, travel or antiquing or motorcycles or home renovations or sailing, who knows? He likes to go to the pub for all his fun and friendships (something we Americans can't fully comprehend). That leaves you to tag along, waiting to fit in, smiling and being as friendly as you can be without being pushy, not easy.

    You tell us. If I say "Break up with him now before it goes any further," what is your immediate emotion? New freedom or sadness?
    debee's Avatar
    debee Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    Sep 5, 2014, 12:27 PM
    Thanks for your answer joypulv; got me thinking. I would actually be upset if we broke up. We don't only go down to the pub for our social time together. We've travelled a lot together, both love cooking and eating out, trying new foods etc.
    It's true that his friendships do centre around the one pub and this town, which is fine I guess. You are right that I feel 'comfortable' in this relationship but in the past I have had dramatic and turbulent relationships where I couldn't wait to break free, so I'm happy with the non-drama, especially at my age.

    You also hit the nail on the head when you said that I 'tag along, waiting to fit in, smiling and being as friendly as I can' - that is very very true and it is definitely not easy - it's awkward ! I often feel like turning his invitations down to these visits to the damn pub ! But I've rarely got anything else to do so think 'what the hell, I'll go, it beats staying home'…that's generally how I feel when we get invited to family BBQs, parties, gatherings as well..

    I've actually no idea whether our relationship will go the distance - I am hoping it does, but these niggling issues are inconvenient.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #5

    Sep 5, 2014, 02:21 PM
    Thanks for the feedback. I'm wondering if there's one woman who might be a good friend, someone you could do things with together without the guys? A Saturday trip to a clothing store, with lunch? It might be a way to be appreciated for you without your boyfriend. Then the word gets around, and gradually you are 'included' as part of the group.
    If the people aren't deliberately snubbing you, I suppose that they spend a lot of time sharing memories, and eventually you will be part of them. You could have a huge Halloween party or something, and tell people they will have to bring tents and sleeping bags in case they get too drunk, and who knows what fun and stories will result?
    mogrann's Avatar
    mogrann Posts: 860, Reputation: 193
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    #6

    Sep 5, 2014, 03:29 PM
    Small towns in my opinion do that frequently. They look at new people as outsiders and it takes time for them to warm up to new people. Do you have an interest that you could join a club in town for? Make sure it is something that interests you as people can generally see if you are faking it. It will take time, just be yourself, be a good neighbor and friendly..
    I have lived in small towns and moved a few times in my life (Army Brat) and have been through this as a child and adult
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,290, Reputation: 10853
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    #7

    Sep 5, 2014, 04:20 PM
    You are still in the transition process of building a life that YOU enjoy with YOUR own friends and activities that makes YOU happy. Obviously you haven't been in this small town long enough to have deep roots in the culture and tradition of the natives.

    Your life has changed and all the old life is basically replaced by strangers in strange circumstances, and that includes your partner of ONLY two years. I can only advise to keep working at it, and keep building. I know what it means to be the outsider, and reaching out more, and being open helps when adjusting to things you aren't use to. Adjustments do take time, and some crazy creativity usually shakes it up and gets the mid life hanks out of your system.

    Take a trip to the local beauty salon, and get your groove on with the rest of the girls. Take your winning smile with you.

    It will get better as you get better at making it so. Good Luck.

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