In love or just loving?

Let’s start with the fact that I’m 19, soon to be 20. Don’t judge this question based on my age please. How do you know if you’re in love with someone, or you just love them? I’ve been with my boyfriend for three years, and lately all it is, if fighting. We don’t have intimacy any longer, and I’ve come to realize that we not much in common, yet I still can’t bear to leave him because he means so much to me. I don’t know if I’m just not in love with him, and only love him, or what? What makes it hard is that we have a 2 year old daughter together, and I fear her going through her parents splitting up like I dealt with as a child. I don’t want to pain her. I don’t want things to be difficult or complicated for her. And I especially don’t want him meeting some girl who tries to mother my child. I don’t want our daughter to miss out on a happy mommy daddy upbringing. Is it possible that if we parted as good friends, that our daughter would be understanding as she ages? Or will she be damaged like I was. It doesn’t help that I feel like if I leave, I’ve wasted so much time on one person. I have a complicated past that was very hard to share with him, and I feel like all the trust I’ve laid into him, is just being wasted if I leave. Not to mention that I can’t bear the thought of seeing him happy with someone else, even though we aren’t at our happiest. It just seems that every little thing he does, sets me off and I don’t know what to do because he’s who I planned to spend my life with, but now I feel like that’s become so unrealistic. I feel so lost and unhappy, but yet I feel like I can’t be happy without him either. We’ve been through so much together that I feel like I’m throwing it all away. But I think we’ve grown into two drastically different people over the past three years. I’m having such a hard time trying to know what to do. Somebody please help because I can’t turn to anyone I know, due to the fact that they’re all biased.

5 thoughts on “In love or just loving?

  1. Joanna says:

    [This is just my opinion, as a child who has divorced parents. I feel splitting up is better done when the child(ren) are younger versus older. Older children may feel like they can affect the outcome of it rather than just take it in stride as a normal part of life.

  2. EricaSwagger says:

    [This is a hard situation but I do think it’s better for parents who are unhappy to split up. Wouldn’t you rather your daughter spend time with you and your boyfriend individually, without the fighting? Wouldn’t you rather be able to dedicate your full attention to her when you have her, rather than exert all your energy trying to hide your fighting to protect her? Wouldn’t you be protecting her more if you could take care of your own mental health first?

    You mention that you are a child of divorce and this destroyed you. Perhaps if your parents had split before things went too far, before things got hostile, your situation would be different. If you drag this out until she is older and the fighting continues to get worse and your resentment grows and grows, it will be so much harder for her. She’s two, now. All she’ll know by this time next year is that her mommy and daddy live in different houses and they both love her. All she’ll learn if you stay in an unhappy relationship is that it’s “normal” for parents to fight. She’ll grow up thinking that’s how a relationship should be. No matter how much you love your child, if she’s in an unhappy home, she will feel it.

    Focus on your own happiness, and the well-being of your child. You want her to be in a happy, positive, nurturing environment. In order to give her that, you have to have that as well.

    • Solstice says:

      [I accidentally voted “I disagree” but I meant to vote that I agree. She’s still young enough that it won’t affect her adversely and will be better for her in the long run.

  3. Solstice says:

    [3 years is not super long to feel you can’t just” throw it all away”, better to get out now. You’re still young, and can find a better partner for you in the future. I’m a child of divorce and I can’t imagine my parents still being together. Make sure her father is still involved in her life, but you won’t be doing her a disservice by breaking up. It will be better for her in the long run.

  4. Dan says:

    [This is probably worth doing a little work on before you bail – you have a child together and obviously had strong feelings at one time! Be honest and explain your position then seek a professional and see if you can rekindle those feelings. If not, the child is young enough that it’s easier and splitting will certainly reduce the damage caused by an unhappy marriage – good luck!

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