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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.
Hello LSmith, and can I welcome you to the BB forums.
The situation you are now in seems to indicate that need time to step away from it all and have that space to yourself.
You've moved in with your boyfriend and had a
Living with someone does test out whether that's the person you want to be with, but now all you want is to be alone, that doesn't mean you don't love him, but at this time don't feel comfortable being in the same house 24/7.
If are able to move back in with your parents
I must say, you are an incredibly courageous and strong person to have challenged cultural expectations as well as family expectations. To be living with anxiety and depression indicates that the challenges you face in life are also deep internal ones, on top of all the external pressure. Again, you are incredibly courageous and strong.
Perhaps, instead of asking yourself 'What do I want to do?', try asking 'Who do I want to be?' Perhaps your responses may look a little like this:
I want to be someone who is
- Adventurous (adding new ventures to life)/Experimental
- Mentally, physically and energetically well
I have been with my husband for over 2 decades now and I personally find that when the relationship feels lacking it is due to us not seeking adventure, experiencing excitement and feeling a sense of evolution (aka positive change). Of course, our mental/physical/energetic health will have some influence over our confidence or the belief in our ability to manage these things. The adventure, excitement and evolution factors are also things we must seek independently, for our self, within any relationship. I have learned over time that when I am looking to the relationship to satisfy me, it indicates that I should also be looking for a sense of general overall satisfaction in life, within myself. For me, the red flags go up when I start getting irritated by the little things my husband does (which bug me). When I am not happy within myself, these things come into greater focus.
With your partner having his own time (the gym), do you have something like this in the way of mental, physical and/or energetic well-being and self-development? I find a relationship works best as a bit of an 'ebb and flow' thing; we go out independently and return, reconnecting. We grow independently and mutually (within any relationship). You've discovered this process for yourself, with your family - you grow in your own space and return to their space to visit/reconnect.
This definitely sounds like another challenging time of growth for you personally. With such a time there will definitely be a lot of questions, especially in the way of direction. The greater the soulful desire for evolution, the greater the challenges will appear to be. On such a journey, I believe there always remains one significant question 'Who do I want to be?'
Take care of yourself LSmith94 on the quest to know your most authentic self
Thank you for your reply!
I agree that I feel like we need a break. I'm still studying at the moment so living on my own isn't something I can currently afford. I could move back in with my parents for a while, but I think that considering they're not too keen on me being with my BF in the first place, it may be problematic in the long run. They're quite traditional, and don't really believe in the concept of taking a break, so if I was to take a break and then decided to move back in with my BF later, it would probably put them in more of a bad place regarding my relationship than they currently are.
Hey therising, thank you for your reply!
I feel like when I currently ask myself who I want to be and what I want my future to be like, I'm just not sure if I picture myself with my BF. There was a time when he brought out the best in me, but I just don't know if he does that anymore, and sometimes I feel like I'd be a better person without him (as horrible as that is to say).
I'm still studying and I also do a lot of arts and crafts as a hobby, so I have both of those as 'my time' things. I will say though that my BF and I used to fight a lot less before he started going to the gym, so that little bit extra time apart seems to have driven a bit of a wedge between us, and I think I can explain why. Living with my parents, I had responsibilities around the house, but so did my parents, however since moving in with my BF, I feel like I have the majority of the responsibilities. I think I'm starting to resent that he has a lot more free time than I do to go to the gym, or go out, or sit around playing PlayStation, whereas I need to schedule everything to be able to find time to do household stuff, plus study, plus have any sort of time to myself (and the latter doesn't happen anywhere close to as much as it does for him). So I think that's adding to my stress and agitation, and probably flares up a lot of arguments.
Hi LSmith, thanks for getting back to me and this is one of the restrictions I had thought of.
If you move back home then are your parents normally willing to change their ideas or even happy to change the colour of the paint inside, for example, if they want to redecorate, as I'm just thinking if you do move back in with them, they may decide to give you a bit of leverage.
Circumstances may change for your own benefit, I certainly hope so please get back to me.
Thanks for telling us your story. I can appreciate how difficult it can be wanting to be with someone your family do not approve of. It may be cultural reasons or simply because they dislike or distrust him. Whatever the reason you are the person who knows that you want to be with him.
How long have you lived with your BF? All live-in relationships need time to settle down and adjust to the new way of living. I know you have been living together for about a year(?). The honeymoon period is over.
Therising has made many excellent points including WHO do you want to be. Partners lead different lives to each other which is a healthy way. The trouble is when there is too much difference and you do not enjoy activities together. I see you are an arty-crafty person, same as me. You are also studying and I wonder how much time you spend away from your home. I love my hobbies at home but I know if I am at home almost exclusively I start to go down and I live alone.
I understand about the desire to have your own time, we all need this. May I suggest you discuss this with your partner. Think about what you would like, how you see this partnership, what can you do together. Above all, who do you want to be.
You have said moving back home will be difficult and I absolutely agree with you. You have left and everything has moved on, including your family relationship. I think you may have problems settling in again. If you did this would you continue seeing your partner? I suspect it would be even more difficult. I have found that trying to go back to a certain time of life never works. It may for you or others but it is hard.
Write a timetable of what you do everyday. Look at where there are gaps. Compare it to your partner's activities. How can you have time together either at home and just be together or going out for simple activities like walking and other activities. Ask your partner to sit down and talk about this. I think you need to give him time to think who he wants to be. So perhaps have a chat and flag what you want to say and arrange to talk again when he has collected his thoughts.
Your decision to live together was made by both of you. Decisions for the future also need to be made together. You will need to say how you feel but try to be factual and not demanding. I hope it works out well.
Ive personally found that the cultural difference between how my husband was raised verse how I was runs a lot deeper than I ever expected. I had weekend chores as well as expectations during the week as to contributions, i.e. Dishes, cooking, taking bins out etc. My weekend was first and foremost about doing my chores, then study, then church commitments. If I had time left over, then social commitments would get a look in.
My husband was primarily left to his own devices. He didn't have chores, he didn't study, he was left to wander the neighbourhood as he saw fit.
Its not that he doesn't feel the need to contribute around the house, but his sense of priority and timeliness has been a never ending struggle for us, and half the time it's my expectation which is the problem. You mention you need to schedule everything to fit in study, household chores and free time, whereas he doesn't. Have you considered that you are prioritising household chores too highly? It's taken a long time for me to grapple with this concept, but if it doesn't get done, does it matter?
Also, if it doesn't get done, would he step up and do it?
My parents ran a tight ship, with 4 children and their own business, they had too. But that model does not work in my relationship with my husband. It's quite a shift to make but it is possible.
I guess the question I'm asking you is, is his expectation the same as yours when it comes to the state of the house and what/when chores need to be done in order for the house to run efficiently? And are your priorities aligned with regards to chores verse other endeavours? It is definitely worth the conversation.
Hi Geoff, Mary and Chickenhead!
Sorry for the late reply... I’ve just been sitting uni exams. 🙂
My BF & I have been living together for 1.5 years, so I understand that the honeymoon period is over. However it bothers me that the number of fights we have has increased. We used to once or twice a year when we started dating, but since we’ve moved in together, it’s gradually increased to being at least almost every two weeks, or potentially several times a week.
We have around 2 hours we can spend together each night & usually we do spend the time together. But it bothers me sometimes that that 2 hours is spare time for him after he’s done everything he wants to do, whereas that 2 hours for me includes me doing things just for myself. He gets to spend the rest of the night at the gym, working on hobbies, watching YouTube or playing PS4, whilst I’m spending that time doing things for him or for the house or for work/uni, and sometimes I feel unappreciated.
Chickenhead, I’m in the same boat as you! In terms of chores, we were definitely raised very differently. My family did a lot for me so I could focus on studying, because that was their priority for me, but they still made sure I had responsibilities and that I was able to do things for myself. My BF seems to have had most things done for him & he never had to learn how to do a lot of things. For example, I’m a lot better with tools and fixing things than he is.
I don’t think I prioritise all chores too highly. If I can push something (e.g. ironing or mopping or re-organising a cupboard) until later because I have more important things to do regarding work/uni, I’ll do it, but I also like order and organisation around the house... Partly because it helps me reduce my anxiety levels. But some of the chores that definitely have priority are cooking, and making sure we have clean, ironed clothes. Unfortunately if I didn’t do those things, they wouldn’t get done. My BF doesn’t know how to cook, or do laundry/iron. He definitely knows they’re a priority to get done though.
I guess my basic expectation is that if I’m making sure the important things are done, I don’t want him adding to my list of chores... e.g. leaving his clothes/shoes all over the house, leaving dishes in the sink instead of washing them etc. And we’ve spoken about those things, and he may do it once or twice, but sooner or later he goes back to his old habits, and then if I bring it up again, it potentially ends in a fight.
Hello LSmith, I hope your exams went well for you and please let us know if you want to.
Once 2 people in a friendship start living together the relationship can change, whether it's only slightly as the 2 of you get used to each other or maybe it's where you start arguing, but it should be a 50/50 and when one of you isn't well then the other needs to pick up and carry the load until they get better.
If he has been holding back the same activities every day, but now doing exactly the same as he wants to, then you have to decide whether you want to let go and move on.
Love is such a strange word, so what does it mean, well everyone has a different interpretation, it means affection, contact, caring, intimacy and many other factors, we all have different meanings to the word, but when someone isn't helping out or sharing the load and it's been spoken about before and has now returned to that behaviour, a relationship is going to be very difficult to survive.
I don't know about the circumstances where you are living but perhaps you could let us know if you want to.