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Article updated 2018
Good day Renee,
I have no idea where to start with this mail.
I met Matthew when I was 18, that was 7 Years ago. We have had a very up and down relationship. We have two wonderful little boys together.
For the first two years of our relationship was a fairy tale, and from there o, we have been arguing and fighting ever since. Everything will be fine for like three days and then for three days its arguing and fighting again.. It’s very exhausting.
This is my problem,
We were together for about 4 years when my little one was born, we lived in Centurion and was very happy.
At the same time my mother (Whom I don’t have a very stable relationship with) was going through a tough divorce and she had also had twins the same age as my eldest.
I told Matthew that even though I don’t have a very good relationship with my mother, I need to help her. Matthew did not want to move to Jhb to live with my mom, but in the end we ended up living there, helping her as much as I possibly could. Matthews working hours are very unstable and he would go away on business trips for days at times. I at the time did not have a job and was looking after my new-born baby, my older son (2 years at the time) and my mother’s twins (also 2 years old).
My mother seemed to be very grateful at first but turned into the person that I disliked very soon after that.
She would not appreciate anything that I had done and was expecting a lot more that what I could offer at that point.
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Long story short, me and my mother had endless arguments and fights, and that hurt me very deeply. Matthew could see that I was not happy and told me that he never wanted to move there too begin with. I just thought that if we could help my mother she wouldn’t be under so much stress and that maybe it will help us to build our relationship.
I WAS WRONG – SO WRONG (But Matthew told me in the beginning how it was going to turn out and he was right.) Matthew and I used to argue a lot about how my mother would make me feel and that caused tension between us. Matthew started working very late and hardly came to my mom’s house, because things were so uncomfortable.
Whenever he used to come from work I would be so excited to see him, I would run to the car, wanting to give him a BIG HUG and make him some coffee while he tells me about his day, but it wasn’t like that – he was irritated and wanted to be left alone. He didn’t talk to me much, we never actually spent time together, and we did not even sleep together for weeks at times. I am a very emotional person and Matthew is the opposite, he didn’t have a very loving upbringing and holds all his feelings to himself, he tries not to feel any emotions. This drove us apart. As I needed him to be there for me while I was going through this terrible stage with my mother, and I needed to feel that everything was going to be ok, as long as we have each other. After a few weeks, I started withdrawing myself from him, I think mainly I was scared of what could happen to our relationship. Maybe I was selfish. I was only thinking about my own feelings, about my own issues. I don’t know.. (Do you want to know how to comfort your man? Read this article)
Back to why I decided to email you……..
We ended up moving back to Centurion. We found a nice place, and things were starting to look up again. Then financially we could not afford all the things we used to. So things were a bit tense.
We were not connecting at all. We didn’t have anything to say to one another we didn’t laugh we didn’t play with the boys like we used to. Everything was just so sad and I felt lost, I felt like I had no place on this earth, and the worst of all was that I was depending on Matthew.
Then a couple of weeks went by and we went to one of my old school friend’s baby’s first b-day party. The boys had so much fun, and I enjoyed it. Matthew did go with me.
One of my friends family members (Pieter) were also there, and told us that they were going to have a braai at the friend’s house after the party we should come with.
Matthew agreed and we went.
I felt awkward that evening. I had a rush of feelings and emotions coming over me. I was overwhelmed.
We had a good evening and went home.
The Monday morning I received an sms from Pieter saying that he was working in the same area that we were living in and if it would me ok if he came over for coffee.
I got hold of Matthew and asked if he was ok with him coming over for coffee. Matthew said it was fine. Pieter came for coffee and it was a bit awkward as I had all these mixed emotions again when I saw him.
I felt confused and I told him that he needed to go as I had a lot of things that I still needed to do.
After he left I thought to myself (WTF am I doing!!!!?????) I mean I love Matthew so much and here I am feeling all these weird feelings for another man.
Pieter came to visit again the day after ( I did tell Matthew that he was coming over – Matthew insisted that Pieter must stay for supper) Pieter left to go and fetch his daughter (Yes he was much older than me but definitely didn’t look his age) and came back when Matthew was busy making his famous Chicken Curry. We had supper and they left.
Matthew asked me if something was going on between me and Pieter because he said that he noticed the way we looked at each other. I did not want to hurt Matthew, I said that there is nothing going on and that how can he think something like that, the guy could be my father. A week went by where I ignored Pieter’s sms and phone calls because I was really confused and didn’t need him to confuse me any more than I already was.
Matthew told me that I needed to be honest with him and tell him if I have feelings for Pieter.
So I did, we sat down and I told him that I do not know where these feelings came from or why I was feeling like that. Matthew told me that I needed to decide between him and Pieter.
There were a lot of things going through my mind, Pieter seemed to care about me, he made me laugh and made me feel good about myself. Pieter was not struggling financially and I was left with a broken heart because I knew that I loved Matthew, but at the same time, he didn’t make me laugh, he didn’t make me feel special, he didn’t talk to me at all.
In the end I chose Matthew. Pieter didn’t stop calling or sms, he was hurt (so he said) Matthew ended up calling him and telling him to come and fetch me because I actually wanted to be with Pieter. I was crying because I was confused and didn’t know what was real and what wasn’t real. Pieter came to fetch me, I was hoping that Matt would let me go if he saw me getting into the car but he didn’t stop me. So I figured that he has made up his mind as well. As days went by I started feeling that this was a big mistake, that Pieter didn’t make me happy and that I wanted to be with Matthew. I tried reaching out to Matthew but he ignored me for about 3 weeks. I went for an job interview, I got the job and got myself a little bachelors flat in Centurion and after Matthew found out that I was no longer living with Pieter, he came around to see the boys and spend some time with them, I would try and talk to Matthew and ask him to forgive me and that I was wrong, confused and that I loved him. I told him so many times how sorry I was. After a month or so, he started coming over more frequently and we agreed to try again. We sat down and I told him what I needed from him in our relationship and he told me what he needed.
After about 5 months, things didn’t change and I was starting to feel that Matthew was not actually happy, we would argue and fight about small things and I just gave up.
There was a new lady that started where I was working (she is also much older than me) and we started becoming friends. I would tell her about my relationship with Matthew and she would tell me things that she had experience with. She started telling me that he won’t change and I will never be happy with him if he doesn’t change and that her ex-husband had a similar personality to Matthew. She told me that if she could live her life all over again, she would have left her husband a long time ago and that she would have done things that made her happy. She told me that I will be happier if I wasn’t with Matthew (She kept saying that I needed to experience life on my own while I’m still young and that I must depend on Matthew. Then a week after I told her that it made sense to me what she was saying and that I was going to tell Matthew, she said that she wanted to move out of her sisters place and move in with me. I thought that would be a good idea, because then at least I can get a bigger place, pay half the rent and the boys will then have more space to play and everything won’t be so cramped.
I went home and I told Matthew that I am unhappy because things are not changing and that our relationship isn’t getting any better. It’s getting worse. He asked me just to try and hold on to our relationship. But I had already made up my mind that we were not going to last. That night was the last night he slept next to me.
Roshene (The lady from work) and I found a very nice place in Thatchfield Gardens and I started living my life. I think I got a bit out of control because ever since High School, I’ve only been with Matthew, he was my everything. So when the boys had a weekend with Matthew I would go out dancing and having fun with friends. (Read about Relationship Advice Women Shouldn’t Take)
Matthew was not impressed at all and he started hating me for what I have done to him. I could understand that he was feeling hurt. Every time I would talk to Roshene about how I think I made the decision to early and that I do love Matthew and I think we just needed time alone to find each other again, the more she would confirm that I had made the right choice and that I must not let Matthew get to me and that he will act the way he is doing because he doesn’t want me to live my life and that he is hurt and that I should go to court to get maintenance from him and things like that. I told her that Matthew was paying their school fees and he was buying their food and the little ones nappies, I wasn’t going to ask him for maintenance. She would tell me that I needed to go out, meet with friends, have fun, forget about my stress etc.
After about 6 months, Matthew would act really weird around me, he would be so angry towards me and I would say to him that even though I did hurt him, I can’t change it. That we needed to find common ground and be civil towards each other even if it’s just for the boys. Matthew agreed and we were civil towards each other.
I asked him if he thought that we would ever get back together and be a family again. He said straight out that we will NEVER EVER be together again, that I have hurt him too much and that I was the only person that he has ever trusted (He has real bad trust issues, he doesn’t even trust his own parents). And I let him down and he doesn’t like the person that I have become and he isn’t happy with what I’m exposing the boys to.
I was very confused and hurt. I knew that I had hurt him, and that is a mistake that I made twice…. I mean how can he think that I am serious if I asked him if we could try again… I was so stupid..
Anyway, this is where the S@#T hit the fan………
I was at work and we spoke earlier that day to confirm his weekend with the boys and the next call I got from him, he was shouting and screaming and telling me how I’m such a f-up as a mother and and and and…. I had no idea where that was coming from????????????????????????? I asked him to just calm down and tell me what happened. He told me that it didn’t matter and that he knew the truth about where I am on weekends and what I did and what I used to do and I just so like WTF???? I asked him who gave him this info, and he refused to tell me, so I said to him that if this person really care about what I was exposing the boys to and was so concerned about their wellbeing, why did that person not come and talk to me about it???? And eventually I got it out of him… he said that Roshene had sent him a sms that I was giving the boys medicine to make them sleep and that I would have sex with different guys all the time and that I have slept with every guy at work………………………. I was gobsmacked…. I could not believe that the person I would confide in will go behind my back and tell the father of my boys such BULL!!!! And no I didn’t give my kids medication to sleep, they were prescribed Celestamine because they had very bad sinus infection (From Roshene refusing to smoke outside), it was unbelievable to me, I was so upset, I mean I trusted her, and then behind my back she goes and tells him lies about me knowing that I felt that I didn’t make the right decision to leave him. Matthew asked me to not say a word to her. I had to promise him. So I did.
That afternoon he came around because I said that we needed to sort this out because I can’t have him believing all these lies that she had told about me, I was hoping that she would have come home that afternoon so that we could all be open and honest. But she never showed up. We spoke a lot and he asked me to be 100% honest with him. He asked me how many guys I had been with and I told him in the year that we were apart (2 guys) he asked me a lot of questions and for the first time ever didn’t feel that I needed to lie to him. I felt that I could be honest, and I figured that if I wanted to make things right with him, that this was my chance, for him to see that I had nothing to hide from him. He was hurt, as expected. But said that he understood. Matthew has only had 3 serious relationships in his whole life. The year that we were apart, he went out getting so drunk, almost writing off his car, he was drunk on most weekends but he did not once kiss or sleep with another girl. Matthew believes that you can just sleep with someone if your heart belongs to someone else. And I think that’s what hurt him the most, the fact that I did sleep two other guys (But Matthew confirmed it more than once that we would never ever get back together, and the only way I thought that I would get over him was to sleep with someone else. I was wrong again)
Another thing he told me was that in Dec last year when I was away on holiday; Roshene invited him over to our house because she had something that she had to tell him (the sms that he showed me looked rather urgent). So he went on telling me the events of that night. That he got there and she was in her pyjamas and she had cooked supper for them. They sat on the couch and they were talking about me, I am not sure what was said, but Matthew said that she was making him feel uncomfortable, so he got up to make himself coffee. She then came from behind and folded her arms around him and when he tried to turn away from her, she tried to kiss him. He told her that whatever she had in mind was not going to happen, first of all because it is in my house, second of all because I trust her and third of all because it’s just not right.
She then backed off for a while and after supper he said that she told him that the only way to get over me is to sleep with another woman, and she is older (45) and that she has a lot of experience.
He told me that he has already explained to her that he is not that kind of person and then she got all over him and told him that she hasn’t been with anyone for over 2 years and if he would then consider just sleeping next to her and hold her because she needs to be touched and and and (disgusting)……
At that stage I could not show any emotion because if I had to react Matthew would not tell me everything. I was hoping that she would walk through that door, but she didn’t come home for 3 days.
I smssed her and told her that she is quick to make s@#t but she runs away from the consequences. The next morning she burst into my office grabbed my arm and I told her that we are in our work space and that she can’t do this right now, she can go home and we can talk about it. She called me names and was swearing and I just pushed her away and walked out of my office, she followed me out to smoking area and was shouting and I said to her that the whole building can hear her making a fool of herself and then she stopped. She walked away. She came home that night and she asked me if we could put our differences aside and start over again because she didn’t want to move back to her sister’s place and that she loves my boys. I told her that there was no way in hell that I would do that, she got a bit physical but realised very quickly that I was not going to stoop to her level. I told her that she must rather move out.
Till this day I have not told her that I know about what she did.
Matthew and I have been back together now for over 7 months and we are happy, there are some things that make me upset and I know there are a few things that make him upset. I do not want us to walk down the same path as we have done. It seems that doesn’t know how to get over what I have done, how I have hurt him. He doesn’t trust me at all. He has every reason not to. But like I said to him last night, I know that what I did was wrong in many ways and I made the same mistake twice. I told him that I was very sorry and that I can’t change the way he feels about that. The only person that change the way he feels about it, is Matthew. I wish that I could go back and change it, but I can’t, I will regret it for the rest of my life. I know in my heart that we belong together and that I will not make the same mistake again. But I can’t get it through to him. He doesn’t believe me. I even asked him if he feels so strongly about all this, does he want us to rather go our own ways and he said no, he said that he loves me and wants us to be a family, he just doesn’t know how to get rid of the pain that I have caused him and how to trust me again, he doesn’t feel confident within himself anymore.
I told him that we both need to consider each other’s feelings, we need to compromise and we need to trust each other..
Please Renee, please tell me what I need to do to save our relationship, I am so desperate, I will do anything.
I love this man with all my heart.
I am responding to you because I really believe you love this man. And I don’t want to see you guys break up again.
This is the kind of thing that happens to most people in their relationships. It could have easily happened to me, before I ever attempted to evolve myself (and I will hopefully always attempt to evolve myself).
What is something that you believe in with 100% certainty that is also outside of YOURSELF?
(Outside of yourself = something that serves other people as well as you, not just something that serves only your own needs)
I ask because the repeated breakups – the horrible ‘friend’ – the sleeping around – all the things that have caused you and your man suffering have happened because there’s no certainty about anything within you.
You have gone along with the current.
And in your case, you’ve gone along SPECIFICALLY with the current thing that coincides with your fears the best.
You trusted the evil friend because of your fears.
And you break up with the man you love because of your fears.
Remember my 5 Rules I send out to my newsletter readers? The 5 Rules for Dating and Relationships?
One of them was: A decision made from fear is the WRONG decision.
That’s my first thought I have for you.
If you want to move forward, you need to stop making all your decisions from fear and start making decisions upon something that you believe that is greater than yourself.
There’s nothing you believe in or hold on to that is greater than yourself right now.
I believe this is a cause for immense suffering not just with you – but with so many people including myself in the past.
You are a loving, and lovely woman. And yet – you’re simply out of touch with yourself and with your man and possibly with your children. I can only assume you’re also out of touch with your children.
When we think only of ourselves we immediately lose touch with everybody. It’s a painful experience. I would know.
When I say out of touch – I mean, you talk like you have no idea of the power in your heart and in your reproductive organs.
You need to go back in to your body first and foremost.
When you’re there, in your body (and not in your head) – when you’re eyes look upward, you’re in your head and that’s NOT the place I want you to be in.
Go to your heart.
When you’re there, ask yourself, if there anything that your love for this man CANNOT overcome?
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Believe in something Greater than yourself to save your relationship
What is a belief you can hold on to from now on that is greater than yourself?
Belief you can hold on to that serves your man, your children, AND your relationship?
Something that is NOT based on fear?
I have a suggestion to get you going….
What about the belief:
“No one can love this man or my family as much as I do”.
“As long as I radiate and give love, even when I’m not RECEIVING love, I am more than enough for this man.”
“I have EVERYTHING I need within me right now to turn my relationship around.”
Now for the actionable steps…
In your letter you said:
“I told him that I was very sorry and that I can’t change the way he feels about that. The only person that change the way he feels about it, is Matthew.”
You CAN change it.
You are not that weak and you don’t have that little influence over this man.
Are you a strong and loving woman? Or are you happy to lose this man and continue with your story of misery?
This man has opened himself up to you repeatedly and you’re telling me that HE is the only one who can change his hurt?
This is not true.
He’s really just reaching out to you.
He’s wondering if you really LOVE him or not.
The only way you can change this is to be wiling to STOP blocking out your own regret over your past mistakes.
And then, once you’ve felt the true pain related to your own mistakes, you can stop being weighed down by them.
Then you can start to tell him, repeatedly, HOWEVER many times Matthew needs to hear it, something like:
“I only ever love you.”
And look in to his eyes like he is God.
And when he doesn’t believe you, that’s when you really just must stick to what you are saying and remember your love for him.
Because he will hate you for what you did at times. And it’s even ok if you let yourself feel the hurt related to his hate for what you did….whether you do it in private or around him – that is up to you.
The thing about looking in to him like he is God….it’s hard to do it when he ISN’T being God to you isn’t it?
When he’s not acting like an Alpha Male, it’s hard to see him that way.
But I promise you, that if you believe that your man has a masculine essence inside…if you keep SEEING him as God….he will eventually become that for you.
If you don’t have the strength of heart to do that, even when it’s hard, then maybe he isn’t for you.
All the best.
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