This week’s question comes from Suzie:
“Dear Orna and Matthew,
The crux of my question is this: How long should I wait for him?
My boyfriend and I have been together for a couple of years and I love him and yet I don’t know if it is ever going to work out. He is still dealing with his ex and working through custody issues with their 7 yr. old son.
They spend a lot of time together (at events for his kid’s school, at parties and gatherings with their friends from their marriage) sometimes it’s like they aren’t even divorced. I feel excluded from his life in many ways.
He says he still cares for her but that they will never get back together because they fight so much. But it seems like she is always reaching out to him when she needs something. I don’t think she wants to let him go. He tells me that he feels guilty for the divorce and that’s why he spends so much time with her.
The thing is I’m really in love with him. When we are together I feel so loved by him and we really complement each other so well. I’m getting tired of playing second fiddle to his ex-wife. So that’s why I’m asking, should I wait for him?
Have I wasted the last couple of years? Will he ever step up and choose me? How long should I wait for him to figure it out?
Thank you for reaching out during what must be a very frustrating situation. The question, how long should I wait for him, is one that many women ask us wondering if things will ever change.
We understand how hard it can be to know if this man is going to step up for you and when. While we don’t want to sound harsh, we do feel it’s time for a little tough love so you can evaluate your situation and make a decision that is in your own self-interest.
Here Are 5 Things To Consider When Wondering: How Long Should I Wait For Him?
How Does He Utilize His Resources?
It is certainly important that your boyfriend co-parent his child with his ex, and that he is a good father to his son. There are only so many hours in the day, and raising a child with an ex can be demanding on his time.
You can always tell what and who is important to him by how he spends his resources. We are all limited by time, money, and energy. So if he is spending the majority of his resources on other people in his life, but not you, that can be a big warning sign.
If he is spending quality time with you that is really all that you can ask of him. Your question: How long should I wait for him, has us wondering if you’ve made things too convenient for him.
You teach people how to treat you. From the moment you met your boyfriend you showed him what was and wasn’t acceptable behavior. It could be that he was looking for some companionship and you went along with his desires leaving your needs and wants unfulfilled.
If your boyfriend is spending the majority of his time, his money, and his energy on his ex and his child and has little of those things to spare for you, it may be time to cut your loses and take time to grieve so that you can move on and find a man who is a better match for you.
Does He Make Plans For The Future With You?
In your current relationship if you’re wondering, “How long should I wait for him,” you’ll want to take note how your boyfriend communicates about the future with you.
Does he speak to you about what your life together will be like when the custody is resolved between him and his ex? Does he make plans for the future with you, like a vacation, a concert, or tickets to the theatre?
A man who wants to claim you and take you off the market will not only ask for exclusivity he will show you his intentions by discussing future aspirations with you, and making plans for the future with you.
These discussions have to lead to execution so that after a couple of years in the relationship you ought to have a treasure trove of memories and photographs of the two of you and your lives together.
If he is all talk without follow-through you may be with a man who thinks you’ll settle for the hope of a future without actually creating one with you.
Does He Include You In His Life?
A true soul partnership is unique; there isn’t one vision of what an ideal relationship should look like. For the relationship to be lasting both people’s needs must be met. Questioning if/when things will change like – How long should I wait for him? – Is a sign that you don’t feel like a part of his life.
Has he introduced you to his friends, his co-workers, family, and his child? Are there photographs of you in his home? Does he make an effort to spend Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and your birthday with you?
As you’ve been with him for a couple of years it would make sense that you would have met his ex and that you would be present for some of the events that your boyfriend attends to support his child. If you are not at all a part of his life with his child, we are curious why that’s the case.
A man in love wants to show off the object of his desire. He’ll introduce you to the people in his life that are important to him. If you are segregated to only spending time alone with him and not with the other people close to him, then your concerns are warranted and it’s time for you to think about moving on.
Does He Honor His Word With You?
As you consider whether to stay or go, and wondering if you should wait for him, you’ll want to pay close attention to whether or not he honors his word with you.
Does he show up at your place to take you out on time? Does he follow through on the dates he arranges for the two of you? When he makes an agreement with you does he honor it?
If he is constantly making excuses for why he cannot follow through or he is always asking that you be understanding and take a backseat to all of his other commitments it’s time for you to evaluate whether you are a priority for him.
When it comes to a lasting relationship you’ll want to know that you can count on your partner to honor his word. If your boyfriend isn’t perhaps its time to have a meaningful heart-to-heart conversation with him where you share how you’re feeling and what you expect of him.
If you do, it’s important for you to own your feelings and to take responsibility for them. Then evaluate his response to you. Does he get defensive? Does he downplay your concerns? Or does he blame his behavior on his ex?
If possible ask him, “How long should I wait for you?”
How long does he expect to keep things as they are? If you’re currently on the sidelines and not involved in every part of his life, share with him how you feel about the current situation and make a request for a change. At that point you can evaluate if he is capable of delivering on your expectations.
Are Your Needs Being Met?
This is really the lynchpin because only you can tell if you’ve gone into sacrifice. By asking us, “How long should I wait for him,” it’s possible you’re feeling angry and resentful which is a key signal that you’ve given up your needs for too long. That can be a difficult situation to move forward from. .
It’s likely that your needs have gone unmet for so long that it feels par for the course at this point. Because you’ve tolerated the situation for as long as you have, it seems that you’ve made things very convenient for your boyfriend. He is getting everything he wants and needs and then some.
Your needs are not a long laundry list of everything you desire in a relationship. Instead, separate your needs from your wants because needs are not negotiable, however, wants are. It’s very important for you to know the difference so that you are able to make requests and ask for what you want.
Communicating with your boyfriend authentically will allow you to see how he responds to your request for things to change. If he is able to make the changes you require, great! You can continue on in the relationship with him.
However, if he is incapable or unwilling to make the changes you desire its time to throw in the towel and do what you need to do to take care of yourself and move on so you can in the future find a man who is willing to make you a priority. If you need him to change in order for the relationship to work for you then it’s possible he is not a good long-term match.
If you want to be certain of how to select an ideal partner who will step up to claim you and will make you a top priority in his life join us for a complimentary Soulmate Strategy Session. This will allow you to discover why you’ve been so accommodating to the point of going into sacrifice so that you don’t have to learn this lesson yet again with someone new. It’s a great opportunity to look at your strategies for love that aren’t serving you.
We are here to be your guides to long-lasting love.
Love and Abundance,