He won’t make peace with my family

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Meredith,

I would like your opinion on this before I make another mistake I'll regret. I'm 55 and have lived with the same guy for over 18 years. Last year, he and I were kind of on the outs and he phoned my daughter-in-law when he was really drunk, then sent her a text that was truly uncalled for. The following day my three kids and their spouses told me about the call and text msg and pretty much threatened me, and told me that if I continued to live with him, I couldn't see my grandchildren.

He and I attended counseling, church, and he also quit drinking, but again, my grandchildren were more important than any relationship, and when he wouldn’t go with me to straighten things out, I sold the house and we parted ways. I haven't felt the same about things since we split. He swears he loves me and it was the alcohol, yet he refuses to go talk to my son and daughter in law to settle things.

Neither one of us have moved on with anyone else because I think both of us know we love each other and we want to be together. My problem is if he can’t go tell my kids "I love your mom and there is nothing I wouldn't do for her," and face my daughter-in-law, then does he truly love me? I don't deserve to spend the rest of my life alone. Maybe I just need to say, "Stop this train, I’m getting off, I've ridden this way longer than I should have!!" Suggestions?

– Misakes


You've stopped the train, but you haven't left it yet. You're still just ... sitting there.

Please disembark. You love this man but he has not done what's required to make peace with your family (if peace is even possible). It's unclear whether he's willing to do what it really takes to live the kind of life that will make you happy.

You say you deserve love, that you don’t want to be a lone. I agree and understand! That's why I must remind you that what you're experiencing right now sounds pretty lonely. After 18 years with one person, it might seem like it would be impossible to find someone else, but it's not. Every day you spend waiting on this relationship is a day you could be grieving it, moving on, and experiencing something new.

Also, the fact that you were on the outs last year – before the inappropriate call – tells me this is not about overcoming one incident. You were already thinking of leaving. Love has not been enough.

Breakups are painful and scary, but again, so is this. That's my suggestion – to be done with it. I'm with your family.

– Meredith

Readers? How can one be sure about walking away from an 18-year relationship?