Really questioning whether I made the right decision. :(
I live with anxiety and depression, and I've made some big decisions in my life over the past year and now I'm not sure if they were the right ones.
I'm 25 and I've been with my BF for around 4 years. My family has never approved of my relationship, mainly for cultural reasons, but despite their objections and the hard times he's gone through trying to win them over, he and I have stayed together. We've also experienced tough times on his side of the family, but that's more related to issues they have. Anyway, last year I made the decision to move in with my BF... which obviously didn't go down well with my family at all. It actually put me in a really bad place with my parents for a while, but we've repaired our relationship, which is great, however we still don't speak about my BF and they have no intention on having a relationship with him.
Now here's where the problem is, I know I really hurt my family when I decided to just do what I wanted to, and I know it's taken a lot to repair our relationship. However, I'm starting to wonder whether I made the right decision by moving out. I just find my BF and I fighting more often at the moment, and I don't know whether it's a rough patch, or a sign that this isn't right anymore. I also find myself liking to be alone a lot of the time. For example, I used to hate that he'd come home from work, then go to the gym and we'd only get an hour or two together, but now I actually enjoy being by myself most of the night. We've had a great relationship the last 3.5 years, but the last 6 months especially have had some major lows. I find myself increasingly getting annoyed at small things he does and I find mysslf increasingly missing living with my family. At this point, I don't know if I just haven't moved back home yet because I still love him and want to work on this/think it's a rough patch, or if I'm just here because I like the independence of living out of home.
Hi everyone! It's been a while since I replied on this thread (sorry Geoff, I just realised I never replied to your last post!).
I passed all my uni exams and finished my degree. 😄
A lot has happened over the Christmas break! My family welcomed by BF to Christmas dinner (and to everything ever since). It's like there was never any problems whatsoever. So everyone gets along great now... and that's been a massive relief for me and also has made me really happy.
However, I'm still having some serious concerns about my relationship with my BF. I'm still not sure I'm making the right decision in being with him (and obviously seeing as I've been having this feeling for months now, it's really starting to make me worry). I don't know if he makes me happy more than he makes me feel negative emotions, I don't think I'm as strongly sexually attracted to him anymore, and I don't know if we share the same goals for the future anymore, or if I even want him there when I'm achieving my goals. I find myself wanting more and more time away from him, and in all honesty, I'd rather spend that time with my family. I feel completely taken for granted and underappreciated a lot of the time. And I find myself contemplating leaving him more and more.
What always confuses me though is that I feel a lot of these things at a time when we're fighting having problems (the time when most of us are irrational and over-thinking things), and then when I calm down and look back on it, especially during a good period in our relationship, it doesn't seem as bad. I don't know if I'm just overreacting and overthinking at the time, or whether I'm just downplaying it all later.
Hi LSmith, thanks for getting back to us and you don't have to worry about not replying earlier.
I'm sure that you're pleased to have finished your exams and congratulations on passing.
What you have told us is that I do think you want to part your ways but when you aren't arguing you want to still be friends and not leave on bad terms.
Your comments about leaving are much much stronger as you feel completely taken for granted and underappreciated, and I can't say whether or not to stay or leave him, but I do think you have made up your mind.
You're still young and you need to be happy, sure all relationships have their ups and downs and in my 25 year marriage there were times when I wished we would separate, but to counter-balance this, both of us still shared our duties and covered for each other when one was not available.
Couple counselling maybe helpful if either or both of you have lost touch with each other and want to find out if the relationship will stay together or whether you decide to go your own way.
Please take care.
Congratulations on passing all your exams and finishing your degree, an amazing achievement in life!
When it comes to dealing with the climate of a relationship (as well as room temp) - years ago when my husband and I 1st started living together, he'd insist on having the central heating turned way up in winter. We'd get around in shorts and singlet tops. I seriously hate the heat by the way. I mentioned to him how much I was suffering but he'd insist on how much he loved the indoor temp. Grrr, cue resentment! Eventually, I told him that if we couldn't find a mutually comfortable temperature, I'd have to leave. We found it and were both content. He adjusted by wearing track pants and a t-shirt, whilst I finally stopped perspiring throughout winter.
Compromise is definitely key when it comes to a mutually comfortable environment. Adjusting to each other's needs is important. There has to be more than just one of you adjusting.
My advice, if you're seriously uncomfortable in your environment at home and your partner's not willing to reach reasonable compromises, then it may be time to give greater consideration to your own personal comfort. Reasonable compromises can translate to 'Reasonable common promises', where the 2 of you commit to making promises to each other in the way of mutual growth. If he's making a promise to himself that he's never going to change or doesn't really need to, this is what you're both facing.
Taking it a step further: Wedding vows, for example, are full of expressions of common promises - 'For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health...' There is a mutual exchange in the way of recognising the need for negotiating life's challenges and good times together. Vows are always exchanged, they are never spoken by just one member of a couple.
Take care LSmith94
I think I’ve made up my mind, I think I’m pretty certain that this relationship no longer brings me happiness and that I don’t see us heading in the same direction in the future. I think, for whatever reason, moving in together has made us become two very different people. I think he’s different in the sense that he’s lost a lot of appreciation towards me and he’s also no longer very rational or understanding when it comes to many issues. And I think I’ve changed in the sense that I no longer let things slide as much as I did before, and seeing more of his behaviour repeat itself week in week out has also made me exhausted and been a real eye opener.
I don’t know how to end it though. I don’t know how to bring it up, or what to say, or when to say it.
I feel very conflicted as well. My BF is actually here on a partner visa, so if I break up with him, there’s a strong chance he’ll have to go back home, and as upset as I am with him a lot of the time now, I don’t want him to have to go back to where he came from. He doesn’t have any family he talks to there, and he’s been away from there for a very long time, so going back would be a very hard thing to do. It’d be hard for him to get a job to support himself for one thing. And he spent a lot of money on the visa, which will all go down the drain if we break up.
I also feel a bit guilty as I know my BF is unable to do many things - cooking, ironing, he doesn’t have a car to buy groceries etc. I do care about him a lot, and I just don’t know how he’ll get by on his own.
The both of us don’t really have any friends either. I’m lucky that at least I have my family for support, but if we break up, he’ll have nobody at all, and that’s another big concern I have. I’d probably feel a bit less worried if I knew there was someone that could take him grocery shopping, or someone to cook for him etc.
This is such a horrible feeling.
It's understandable how this can all seem like one complex situation yet, from what you say, it appears to be comprised of many individual issues such as:
- Staying in the country (VISA)
- Emotional support
- Relationship issues
- Daily living responsibilities
From what you say, you sound like you've been shouldering a lot of the responsibility in regard to the above. Even as far as the partner VISA is concerned, you've been requesting in a variety of ways, over a period of time, that he contribute toward making the relationship more of a partnership (by sharing the responsibility). Keeping the VISA valid does come with great responsibility on his part, besides form filling and paying VISA fees.
In regard to addressing the relationship: Making statements such as 'You haven't been contributing much' can be seen as being accusatory and can be met with an understandably defensive response. Asking questions of our partner can be key to having them see things thoughtfully, from a different perspective. Perhaps you can think of questions to ask your partner, such as:
- Can you see us continuing to live this way, arguing fairly regularly, without the promise of resolution?
- In what ways do you feel responsible when it comes to contributing to the running of the household?
- What are the goals you see us having together in the future?
- Do you think us drifting apart doesn't produce a sense of separation? How separate do you want us to be?
These are just some of the questions that require him to honestly assess the relationship. His response will provide a cue for you to either end the relationship or proceed with it. Basically, you're putting the ball in his court, so to speak. For example: If he says 'Look, I really don't want to talk about it!' That can be your cue to say something like 'I just can't live with a one-sided relationship, in regard to little thought and communication'. If the questions you ask prompt him to become more conscious and genuinely begin making greater effort, it may unexpectedly revitalise things. If the outcome involves you splitting up, he needs to be able to take responsibility for his part in that. He also needs to take responsibility for anything that happens after that (in regard to how he'll stay in the country and how he'll feed himself, for example).
Take care LSmith94
Hi LSmith, thanks so much for getting back to us.
When two people decide to live together after they have had time going out with each other, certainly does change circumstances.
You get to know exactly what he/she does being 24/7 but you have to look after yourself first and foremost, if you keep having to worry about what someone else needs to do and forget about 'you', then you won't be able to move forward.
The main point for you to move forward, is not to stay in a relationship, just so it helps your partner out, that's what he has to sort out himself, you have to consider yourself first, and if you have made up your mind already, then ask him to move out, this is for your own well being.
Your number one here.