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    My boyfriends mother still treats him the same and he is 47.
    Best idea is to move out and be your own boss.
    Look up narcissistic mothers, it may be that you will never be able to do anything good enough to settle her emotions, maybe just being aware that some mums are control freaks will enable you to laugh it off or tell her to shut up in a kind of polite way.
    All the best


    I think this is a great question and yes I think part of a humans purpose has to be looking out for oneself. We have this inbred survival trait which isn’t really used anymore as food shelter and warmth are so easily found. Surely this trait should/could be used to ensure our strongest life wish is realised which is the desire to be happy.
    I’m 39 years old and have never been truly happy in my own skin until recently (I’m on anti-depressants). I filled my sad days with fantasies that this boyfriend would make me happy, that this holiday would take the pain away, that this promotion would make me feel better about myself, that this shiny new car would make me feel happier. None of it worked, you can’t mask sadness.
    I am feeling ready to start looking at whom I want to be without the idea that it is to impress others, I am ready to look at work I want to do that I feel benefits me foremost then others, I want to explore me to know who I really am (without the sadness) and whom (a partner) could open my life to further joy.
    I found it interesting to read the other day that we fall in love less as we get older, the article said when we are younger we look for a partner who makes up for our shortcomings, as we age we have less shortcomings and need others less. I’m beginning to feel happy about being single as otherwise I wouldn’t have this wonderful time to know myself and what I want.
    I wish you happiness on your journey


    Hi Debbie
    Thanks for your reply, it really helped when I read it yesterday. The line that struck a chord was ‘let it be from a place of caring’.
    I can’t tell whether I am being narcissistic or whether I am genuinely just to be feeling how I do. I got home and sent an email to K saying how it wasn’t fair I had been treated that way by his mother (failing to add it wasn’t fair that he emotionally bullied me to stay there and put up with it for nearly 2 days to support him – obviously my feelings don’t matter). He didn’t read it so I sent him a text saying I had sent him an email and hoping he slept well.
    It was planned that K and I were attending a party the next day which meant we had to walk from his parents house. The reason I had agreed to walk was so I could have a couple of drinks, however, there was no way I was planning on staying another night at his parents house so I text to say I would meet him there. He was upset and said it was your idea to walk, I said I had achy hips couldn’t be bothered, He said poor you, I told him the truth I was not going to stay there the night so I may as well drive. I suppose I was craving attention and when his next text implied he’d be busy for the next couple of hours getting ready I felt upset, I said I feel v low today and that I am feeling forced to share you because of your mums attention seeking ways that you haven’t reassured me you are coming home and that we will be ok and that I didn’t want to go to the party as it felt wrong. He text and said ‘I’m not looking forward to facing people either, If you don’t want to go we won’t’, I said ‘ok good, back to sleep for me then’ (it was an early afternoon party). Then he text and says he going, please come with me, I say no I don’t want to (I’m not a big socialiser and it is his friends party). Then I get childish texts from him saying he feels sick, I can’t believe how badly you have let me down, he can’t get there, you are unbelievable, you let me down at the last minute, this I shall never forget, i’m in such a state. I went out to the grocery shop and left me mobile at home as he was upsetting me, it was his idea not to go and why did I have to go.
    About 3pm he comes round raging at me, he kicked my shopping (destroyed a pepper and packet of crisp) & my cupboard and smashed a box up and generally was like a mad man, I say I not going as I don’t want to I am too upset, go off have a nice time we are not joined at the hip. He really scared me, it’s not the first time, the scariest time was when we were argueing in the car and I was driving and he grabbed my handbrake and put it on hard and we span around in the middle of a busy road, I thought we were going to die.
    After he left I thought why am I being emotionally bullied to do things I don’t want to. I realised I would be just as happy if not happier on my own.
    About 8pm he comes round saying he didn’t have a good time as I wasn’t there (he was there 5 hours though!). I said you could of left and it was your choice to go, it was like he was emotionally bullying me again for me to feel it was my fault he didn’t have a nice time. He asked whether I would go the funeral parlour and registrars tomorrow I said no I don’t think so, he left slamming the doors behind him.
    So I change my mind and text him and say if it means that much to you I’ll accompany you and that is where I thought I was being caring. So we go the registrars and then the idea they come up with is shall we go back to there house for a cup of tea, I say no we should just get on with it, he says come in the car with us then. I say no, I’ll follow them (it’s only the next village). We walk to his car and his mum says ‘you should just get in the car with me and K’, I say ‘no, I am happy driving’, she says ‘but that isn’t want K wants you to do’ and I say quite firmly ‘I do not have to do everything that K wants me to do’.
    After the funeral parlour where K tries to insist I have to go to the subsequent minister meeting we go to the flower shop, on the way I suggest to his mum that she gets a bigger screen for the internet so that she can get shopping online, I don’t think so she says I don’t eat a lot and I won’t need much shopping, I should of learnt already that nothing I suggest is a good idea.
    Anyway we get to the flower shop where his mum falls and grazes her knee slightly, you’d of thought she had a broken bone. Kev left us to fetch his car and then it’s ‘I don’t have anything to live for’, ‘I can’t keep expecting K to look after me’, I have no patience with all her ‘poor me’ attitude and change the subject.
    Later on, we go back to K’s parents and I leave promptly afterwards. I text K and say when you coming back home (he’s not been home for over 4 weeks), he avoids the question, I text again mentioning the same, he doesn’t answer. So I say jokingly I am thinking of getting a more available man.., no response and this is when I turned narcissistic and said I’m not visiting the chapel of rest with your mum as I don’t want to anymore. He has a go at me for changing my mind, I say I’m entitled to change my mind. I go onto say I won’t be visiting the minster nor travelling in the car behind the hearst.
    Possibly K me and his Mum are just as bad as each other except I am the one that is being expected to give more and more when in actuality I’m ready for the relationship to end as I cannot contemplate any sort of future with his Mum or his anger. I can’t come from a place of caring, I care for my own sense of well-being and not feeling like a mug, Just cause K doesn’t want to do the chapel of rest or talk with the minister doesn’t mean I have too. My phone is off and I am looking forward to returning to work tomorrow.
    Any feedback would be appreciated, even if it is to tell me to stop trying to play them at their own game, on reading through this and as I ended it in March I think it’s well and truly relationship over.


    Hi BenzRabbit
    Thanks for your reply. Please note I don’t have any addictions. I am well and truly out of those vicious circles.

    Imagine your whole life never feeling properly loved or wanted, imagine carry around that lack of self esteem and lack of self worth, imagine you never realised that you were carrying around all that negativity and just assumed everyone else felt the same sadness as you as it is compounded in the atrocities that we read about or see on the tv every single day.

    Imagine then being in a good place with a man who has good self esteem who has been brought up in a loving environment. Imagine knowing that you cannot love him properly because you just don’t know how to as you don’t love yourself and you don’t even believe that love exists.

    In my opinion only a very few people in this world love and care for others unconditionally. Parents don’t love unconditionally, they mould their children to fit their own opinionated desire and expect for all their instructions to be carried out, oh and they love and care so that the favours returned when they reach old age.

    As said in my first post, I have no plans to start a family until/if I get better. Perhaps you have experienced post partum depression and it is something that has hurt you or someone around you. I’m sorry about that. I thank you for the time and effort you went to in replying, perhaps I’d understand your point of view more if I knew more about your experiences. Reading between the lines of your reply, you have said to me, you have problems, you could have a child and have depression and then your husband will leave you penniless but possibly you are at fault because you wanted the child. This made me feel like a) I’ll never be able to cope/be better b) my boyfriend/husband will never love me and support me properly c) be a martyr, don’t have a child cause you’ll just screw the childs life up. I know you didn’t mean it this way and I am being way too sensitive but isn’t that just the way communication is generally, you want to help me but we can only help ourselves (as we are the only ones who truly have any idea about our problems) and its too much effort and upset to break it down step by step and reach agreement & a positive outcome for all parties. Just checked out BBC, another war kicking off? Should we have positive problem solving communication lessons in school rather than history!

    I’m back on the road to recovery, I am back at work, I have plenty of money and earn a decent wage all I want is to be better and learn to love, hopefully without the need to be ambivalent to the none-loving attitudes of the world we live in. Now, where’s those glasses

    God bless you too


    Thanks J; your words are encouraging and I hope when I am feeling stronger I can try meditation, there a midday session available at work on a Tuesday lunchtime, thanks for bringing this idea into focus.


    Sarah, you sound like such a caring person & life is tough at the moment. As your mum is renting a room i assume there is some funds to either put her in a hospice or pay for a carer to come in & give you some rest. Can social services help? My boyfriend is nursing his father as he dies from agressive thyroid cancer & he worries he isnt doing enough; hes an only son. You and your pregnancy must b the priority. Your not superhuman, please allow yourself to be happy & content with your decision that you need a break and ask for help. If no help is available; please try not to worry; you have managed so far & worry just takes away joy which is what you will no doubt b feeling about your pregnancy. Keep strong


    Thanks for this reply. Your final sentence struck a chord, I think to certain extents we all make do/accept the life we have happened across &/or planned for. I know I’ve acted out happiness just to fit it and I imagine others sometimes do the same. I have lost my life force and don’t know what makes me happy, except being left alone but I know this is the depression.
    I do generally have a negative internal chatter/voice which I’ve been fighting to control or ignore since I was a kid. This bout of depression started in early February, perhaps I intuitively knew that bad times were coming (i.e. my boyfriends dads illness), I’d get in rages over nothing, I was angry and unmotivated at work, I ended the relationship with my boyfriend, I tried to switch off every ‘love’ input or output as love (from my childhood & adult experience) just causes pain. I’d cry and cry and go driving about trying to find some hope, some happiness, something to divert my attention from the irrational somewhat boring repetition of the same old internalised ‘no point’ mantras.
    I hoped the anti-d’s would be making me feel better by now but no such joy as yet, I tried doing an exercise video on Saturday (I used to dance a lot and enjoyed it) and I gave up after 10 minutes. Usually when I want something in life I have this reservoir of immense drive, determination, possibly blind ambition. But it’s gone and that is so sad.
    I’ve had lows in the 5 years since my last major bout of depression and have always found a way out, found motivation to change things. My new job (promotion) will be good for me and the team are good people, my boyfriend is good for me ( I used to drink, smoke, be very moody and bad with money) and he has helped me through these things. I don’t think I want to change anything as my life has never been so good, I want to enjoy this time and appreciate my successes, this is an alien emotion for me or perhaps I’m running on a rat race thinking it’s where I have to go but actually I want to fall off and choose a less predictable more challenging road where I actually begin to know myself not give my energy to work and people that carry on living in self enforced rose coloured spectacles. We create these bubbles of self protection – I’m safe my family loves me – I’m safe I have a good job – I’m safe I have some money in the bank – I’m clever I don’t let images of famine, war get to me – I’m ok I’m healthy and will live a long prosperous life – I’m happy because oil & territory wars (the killing of human beings) are not my problem, I have faith in my government – I’m safe as I have a home, running water and food – I’m safe as long as I keep happy.
    Your right I cannot change things by just believing things should be different, but how can I be happy in my bubble when ‘world issues’ affect me day to day, the anti-ds will strengthen my bubble and in a few weeks I’ll forget I even cared


    Dear Deep Blue and Al
    Thank you for your advice. Deep Blue, yes I do need to start thinking more about myself and Al, yes it’s only me who can make my decisions based on my unique needs and wants.
    My imbalance seems to me to be a conflict between my inner world and outer world (I’m an INTP). My mind is interested in bigger picture ideas, such as population growth, food shortage/manufacture (don’t get me started on sugar or battery hens), rich/poor, morals in the bible, the venus project (a world without money and territory – possibly world peace). My current job and my future job add nothing to my beliefs. I feel a lot of the time that a) my life hasn’t turned out the way I wanted and b) my life is not contributing to either help people or the environment.
    I feel so different when I compare myself to others who seem happy with the rat race and their new car. I want to step off the rat race wheel – I don’t know whether this is my depression or how I actually feel. Perhaps it would be a good time for me to evaluate the here and now life path against my perceived desired life path. My boyfriend gave me some good advice which is stick with the here and now life path until you know what moves to make to do the things that you actually feel you want too.
    Does anyone else out there really get concerned about ‘world’ matters? My art teacher said the rich and poor situation will always be as it’s a natural balance.. I really didn’t like his comment, have a lot of us created a wall of apathy and ambivalence to the hard times that others have, i.e. famine, civil war. When I was a child I used to read the newspaper and cry because humans hurt each other so much. Why are we afraid to care?


    Dear SG
    This will sound cruel but I am glad for your sake that he has called it a day. It sounds like he knew he couldn’t love you properly but when you were around he would take advantage of your love for him.
    Being in love is addictive and takes away your notion of who you are and what you want. Us girls are brought up on fairy tale romances (Disney, rom-coms) and we all want the happy ever after. It sounds like you put a whole lot of feeling into a frog who would never turn into your prince.
    Before this relationship happened, where & what did you want to do with your life? Can you try focusing on what matters to you.
    He is not worthy of you holding love feelings for him, 5 years has shown you it’s not gonna work out (unless you want to accept mistreatment).
    You are capable of a whole lot of loving and another guy will come along, but don’t rush in (this is how I got into my current possible ‘dead end’ relationship).
    Those first 6 months to a year of a relationship make us blind to the potential relationship faults as we are enjoying sharing fun times, cuddles, flirtation.
    I’ve just been diagnosed with severe depression and I so want to be out of my black hole but it takes time and learning to be kind to yourself. Replaying conversations and times together won’t help unless you are concreting the thought that he just didn’t love you enough. I’m sorry if this sounds harsh but these things happen, 9 years I stayed with the last boyfriend, deep down knowing that I wouldn’t ever truly be happy as I never had any say, the final straw for me was when he wanted a Rottweiler dog and I didn’t (we lived together) because I’ allergic, I’d end up doing all the cleaning up (as he was lazy) and because I was a bit frightened of having a big dog around. He got the dog, I moved out, we saw each other a few times after that but after I’d just end up feeling disgusted with myself for allowing myself to carry on thinking that our love was going to conquer all the problems.
    Today, I will write a list of all the things that make me happy, soaking in a bubble bath, being by the sea, painting, etc. Maybe you could try something similar.


    T, I am so glad you have moved out and moved in with your Mum; my boyfriend says similar things to me when I try and split with him; he can’t believe that he isn’t everything I need; he doesn’t want to hear that we have cracks that are turning into huge chasms. He says he thinks the world of me, he loves me to bits, he can’t see his world without me, why can’t I just see all the good things between us, that he doesn’t worry about us like I worry about us.
    I don’t think my time with him has been wasted. I think it has given me the experience to understand what I could have from a relationship which has turned into what I don’t want from a relationship too I know what I may like in a new relationship.
    I’ve heard that the news from the hospital isn’t good but I’ve decided not to get anymore upset about this (his dad is a lovely guy) as it’s not my cross to bear and my mental health is much more important.
    During the past family visits I would speak to his dad A) because he was a lovely guy and this is where my partner gets his good qualities from and B) so I could zone out from his Mum. She can’t stay quiet for longer than 5 minutes and I only talk when I am interested in the conversation or have something to add.
    One thing our mutual friend did say which is so true is that we spend too much time together and we don’t go out separately. What this friend doesn’t truly realise is I have no friends & I have hardly any family contact. I’d love to be able to get out an about doing fun things but I have no-one to do it with. The first few days after we split in March I got internet access at home and I joined a local female friends website but fear got the better of me and I didn’t do anything else apart from join.
    I’ll be hoping that you stick with your decision. One of the posts said something along the lines of are you just settling? I know I am and I think you would be, soon like you I will walk away and have o fear and have strong faith and determination for a greater future.


    Thank you for your thoughts about narcissism and your experience and I found comfort. My time is short as I am off to the doctors for a blood test to check for underactive thyroid as I am quite depressed. I think he could be selfish as everything he ever wanted as a child and adult has been delivered freely by his parents, I assume he is expecting the same unconditional love from me but I am not his parent and he probably has very limited ideas about how a male to female relationship should be. Why do I keep making allowances for him?


    I like this forum, it’s helping me keep strong, Des thanks so much for your post about your experiences. Like you for the first few days after our last break up I felt a weight had been lifted; I had so much faith in my future.
    Then I became upset; I’d never find anyone else, I felt so lonely, had I done the right thing, what about all the good times we had. I spoke to a mutual friend and told her about the break up and she was like he thinks the world of you, you are so good together, you shouldn’t feel as you do, everything will work out. This friend and her husband and kids are very close to us.
    So we got back together and here I am 4 weeks on regretting it, tomorrow his dad is going to have a major operation for his advanced cancer.
    When I met him and he told me he still lived at home (at age 42) these huge alarm bells went off in my head, I remember the moment clearly but I liked him, he was a genuine nice guy and I thought I could fix that.
    We took the early days of our relationship very slowly, after a year or so he had moved in and I was very happy with the arrangement. He didn’t move his stuff in (as my flat is tiny) and his mum still wanted to do his washing & ironing, so I had no chores. He didn’t pay any rent bc he is on appalling pay (he works for the family business) and I just rolled with it as he’s such a nice bloke and I loved him.
    The first Christmas, his Mum says ‘are u sure u want to get involved, a close family member has been in prison’. I should of realised way back that his Mum wasn’t prepared to let him go, she was trying to push me away and has been doing so ever since (he’d been single for 20 years before me). Going out with his parents became an emotional ordeal for me due to her name calling but I kept on giving her the benefit of the doubt, it’s her age, her diabetes, just the way she is. Out of respect I hardly ever answered back. One time I invited his parents to my flat for dinner, she sat there and was critical of most things and I decided here and then never again will I have them round. My partner has 4 financial outgoings, his leisure/socialising money, he pays my flat electricity, he now pays a token rent to me and pays half our food costs – everything else is paid via the family business (i.e. car costs, phone bills). He has it so easy why would he want anything to change.
    So I reckon he is non-committal about us bc he doesn’t really need our relationship bc he hasn’t broke the bond with his parents so he doesn’t really need my love. He probably isn’t emotionally available as he has a co-dependency with his parents, actually his co-dependency is to his Mum (he is a only child). Last night I talked to him and told him when he tells me he can’t see his life without me that I don’t believe it as he has done nothing in the last five years to help build US. I told him I had been in love before and I knew that romantic times and cuddles did not build a relationship. I told him that by making no decisions he had actually made a decision that said to me he didn’t care about building US, he was happy with the way things were. I told him if he loved me truly, he must tell me how the future is going to be, he can’t keep on stringing me along.
    I asked my partner will he carry on working for the family business (which is on the same grounds as the family home) being paid peanuts and supporting his parents until the day they are gone, I asked when would our life begin. I said I would not wait around for him; that the only way I could feel his number 1 (which is what I deserve to be) is if he asked them to sell the family home and business, he got a proper job and he moved them to a place where they would be less of a responsibility to him (i.e. near a bus route, near the supermarket, near the doctors & hospital, near other people). The family home is an out of town 4 bed bungalow with an acre of garden, his parents are in their mid 70’s and soon this will be too much for them. I won’t push for an answer to this as he doesn’t need it when his dad is so ill but I need to be told that I am not leaving a relationship where he may put me first.
    I’m writing this and calling myself a fool, I should of not got back with him, I should not have listened to our mutual friend who’s bias was for him to be happy as she is primarily his friend.
    Do I walk away now beating myself up because I was cruel and I couldn’t support him when his dad was ill? Has fate brought us back together bc I need to be there for him at this time? I’m on a road not of my choosing and I feel lost.


    Hi I saw your post and I feel like you that I am in a dead end relationship, its been 5 years. My boyfriend is a wonderful person, kind considerate caring tender but like your fiancé he is very content with our lives remaining as they have been for the last 5 years. I want us to buy a house together, perhaps have children and get married but he is quite content carrying on living in my small 1 bedroom flat and he is non-committal about kids and marriage. I like yourself work hard and I got a promotion 6 months ago, I do two further education evening courses as perhaps one day I’d like to pursue an artistic or teaching career.
    I’ve known for two years that the relationship is draining me, he tells me he is afraid of doing new things – such as flying on a plane (I really would like a sunshine holiday), dancing on new years eve with me, buying a property together, (but he doesn’t like the thought of me buying by myself) kids, marriage. I have tried and encouraged him but I get so disheartened, I feel I am missing out on things I could be doing as he is pulling me down into his fearful zone. At the weekend he never wants to do anything, I ask him and he has no desires, I get to do all the choosing and arranging and that was so sweet to begin with but now it feels like a chore.
    I have tried to end it before but he cries and tells me he thinks the world of me and then we come up with plans where I say I’ll have more faith in us and my feelings for him and he says he’ll try and be braver. I feel love for him and also pity and I am somewhat scared of being alone, I look at my past relationships and he is the nicest person I have ever known. I think my fear of being alone is holding me back from saying goodbye for good. I feel like I am pretending we will be ok but deep down I know I’m settling for some love rather than positive love. I don’t feel I should need to be trying to change him; we are all different people and I am convinced we should love each other for exactly how we are today & in the present.
    I can’t contemplate ending the relationship at the moment as his dad is ill (possible terminal)in hospital at the moment. The last time I tried to end it was early March. I woke up one morning and I 100% realised I didn’t want the relationship anymore that we weren’t going anywhere and he wasn’t the man for me so I told him this. Two weeks later we were back together. We break up, we make up, we break up, we make up and all this hurt surely means our love starts to die. I’m 38, no kids & no previous marriages and I have faith that there is a better partner out there for me who has some get up and go and wants some of the same things as me.
    I think its best you leave the relationship, think about your long term future with him – I don’t think marrying will help the relationship. You need to feel respect for him and the relationship and be each others strength when life is hard.

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