Balancing our relationship issues

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    So I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3yrs 9months. He was very much a ladys man in the beginning and charmed his way into my life. We met at a martial arts gym and he is now a professional cage fighter and I’m a soon to be beautician. We dicided after 2 years of dating we going to move in together and at the time my family lost their home and had to move where there is no space for me. Anyway as young 22 and 23 years olds we had no idea what it took to run a healthy home nor healthy relationship and we had faced 2 breaks and learned alot of eachothers not so great side but we love each other and I was paying most of the Bill’s until I lost my job and he now is taking care of the bills while I take care of the household and preping all the meals as he is an athlete so he needs healthy eating and enough rest so that being said theres times where he just doesnt do anything goes into a dark place where hes demotivated to train and ends up hanging around the house and doesnt clean up after himself. He is terrible at cleaning up after himself since I’ve met him and I had to work a full time job and come home to a mess for a whole year and only every now and then does he do chores In the house still today. It’s been so difficult cause I dont have much hobbies nor friends I see very often cause I’m just  focused on getting our life and home in order but he keeps looking for things to complain about like that he feels suffocated and he feels he cant make his own decisions but theres so many times he does nothing and its like he doesnt khow what to do or what he wants and his confusion causes so much stress in our life and relationship. He useto be very insecure to the point where he made me believe that no man is to be trusted and they only want one thing and he was quite the promiscuous type back in the day so he had big trust issues which eventually caused me to withdraw from people socially and when our relationship was falling apart I had nobody to confide to. He had alot of growing up to do and he projected alot of his issues onto me and I had to help him realise alot of the self disrtuctive patterns he had. Still today he gets in the weird space where he isn’t being productive in his life and hes at home and taking me where I need to be then he blames me for the way his feeling (trapped, not confident, inability to think and make individual decisions) but I’ve always told him to do what’s best for him and just communicate with me what it is he needs. Hes confusion and ups and downs are really stressful cause I am simply running our business from home and get a lift with him to the gym. I cook most meals for us and do most of the cleaning and occasionally he doesnt something if he has the time. But he tends to always find an issue in our relationship and i have told him I understand that we are learning still and I dont hold that against him. He has broken my heart 3/4 times with his inability to be comfortable and sabotages the good things he has in his life due to the way he was raised. I had very little trust in him and may have suffocated him for some time but I am really working on letting him have his space and trusting him that he will protect me but he is always going through highs and lows that he takes out on me instead of taking responsibility for and handling it accordingly.


    I really love him and he loves me but he has alot of past issues he needs to outgrow and our relationship could grow stronger from all the battles we’ve faced as long as he heals his inconsistency and emotional issues and not project that on me as if I dont have my own insecurities, fears, failures to overcome. For the most part our life is simply and calm but he gets uncomfortable with being comfortable or he gets almost depressed and doesnt feel like doing anything.


    Dear Lady:

    Reads a whole lot like Ladybug, with whom I communicated at length a couple of years ago. Is it you, Ladybug???


    1. Yes its me

    Alot of growth has happened since I last wrote here. Our handling of conflict has become so much better and really shows me me he is growing up. He even says ” There is no point trying to win the argument cause if one loses you both lose” in other words the relationship is more important than trying beat each other to be right. He is now the champion and he has almost no fights lined up so far and basically he doesn’t have anything he is focused on or putting his energy into so his motivation is low which causes his general productivity in our life to be very low. So now because I’m at home all day and he also is at home alot more often we tend to be in eachothers spaces alot and do most things together which is now starting to bother him. But I try to make him understand that he needs to take time out for himself to get back to his ambitious happy state but he doesnt do it because he procrastinates and ends up throwing undeserving resentment towards me for his lack of independence.


    Dear Lady:

    Welcome back then! Will you remind me about his relationship with his mother, how it was when he was a child (No need to write about it a lot, just a summary), as well as his/ your current relationship with her?



    Hi Lady,

    Personally I think you should move and not tell him where you are. That will motivate him to work or at least keep his own space. Then you can meet and not have the burden of caretaking for him. Yes, that is what you are doing.

    Why are you doing a full time job and he doesn’t cook and/or clean? The reason is depression. Even if he makes the beds, takes the garbage out, does laundry and cooks and does the dishes in the beginning ONCE A WEEK he will feel so much better. Later, it will morph into doing the paperwork, running a vacuum, cleaning out a closet, going shopping and cooking every day.

    He needs to see a doctor for his depression. If he is just lazy, Flylady dot net is a wonderful resource, and Duolingo I found helps the cause, even though it is a free language learning app. I feel like I have a purpose to my days, even if it is “silly”. “Well, at least I leveled up in Latin!” LOL


    Dear Lady/ Ladybug:

    In the following, I will quote what you shared here and in your previous threads, as Ladybug. The only changes I made to the quotes are capitalizing letters in the beginning of sentences and correcting some minor spelling and grammatical mistakes (ex., “hes” corrected to his or he’s). The bold letters and italicized features are my addition, not yours.

    You met this man at a martial arts gym about February 2016 when the two of you were in your very early twenties. During the first two years of dating,  “We started arguing about stupid things… I used to be quite insecure and I didn’t give him much time to himself…I may have come across as a horrible woman… he did everything to keep me happy.. He at times became very distant and I became very insecure but we always made it through the difficult times”. Later you wrote about that time: “when we didn’t live together, I would only see him once a week which was challenging”, and “I may have suffocated him for some time“.

    At one time during the two year dating relationship, he “took a week break from the relationship to figure things out and wasn’t sure if he was going to get back together with me, which by the end of that week he did”. This is what you wrote about your emotions and behavior during that one week break: “I was in so much pain and anxiety I couldn’t eat, I barely slept.. I locked myself in my room for days and barely came out. I sent him so many texts asking him to be there for me.. After the third day I wanted to take my life and I told him the pain is too much and that I felt sick”. He then rushed to you, and you stopped texting him so much”, and “he started texting and checking up on me but I didn’t respond or if I did I responded very neutral.. I told him my friends suggest I speak to other guys.. and suddenly he wanted to talk more.. and I could tell he was trying to get close again”, and the relationship resumed.

    *During that first break, if not before, you started this pattern of “hot and cold behavior towards him” (“I try a little hot and cold behavior towards him just so that he doesn’t get comfortable… I disappeared for a weekend and didn’t tell him anything of where I’m going and I refused to answer his calls or respond to his messages which led to him freaking out and calling my friends and family”, etc.)

    A few months after that first week long break, your parents lost their home and their new place didn’t have space for you. The two of you then moved into his mother’s place. Next, she kicked the two of you out, and “he invested a lot of his money into us moving out on our own”.

    May 2018, while living together, the arguments continued (“he was just being lazy and forgetful so we would always get into arguments trying to get him to take initiative… We are stubborn people so we would argue.. but none of our arguments have gotten to a breaking point”, “We both became emotionally drained because of the arguments.. He feels we have been arguing about meaningless stuff which only has made him bitter”). You mentioned that you threw at him a lot of emotional distress (“He would of run for the hills with all the emotional distress I threw at him last week”). You “kept sending him emotional texts”. At one point you sent him a long text about how unhappy and insecure you were feeling. Following that text he initiated the second break (“This break came after I had sent him a long text of how unhappy and insecure I was feeling“). He then “asked for a break and only this time he said he doesn’t know how long it will take or if he will get back together with me”. Your reaction: “I practically went into depression.. I completely broke down for 2 weeks crying non stop”.

    You wrote about the second break: “He says he needs to be alone and can’t be in a relationship right now but no real action has been made to move out on both our sides… We gym together and haven’t told anyone about us being on a break… we still carry a normal life together. We agreed that we won’t mess with anyone else until we are clear of what’s happening between us… We don’t talk about the break or our relationship.. I have no idea how long this break is going to last. I work all day so he stays at home and currently has a knee injury”, June 2018.

    The second break included no more arguments on one hand, and limited affection at times, and no affection or eye contact at other times:  “He has moments of loving nature but then he also has these cold moments”, “He still cuddles me at night, we laugh and talk, and we even have sex (we try to keep  it purely physical)… the intimate kisses, hugs and eye contact has stopped…we don’t hold hands or kiss.. Only time we kiss is when we have sex…He has completely disconnected from being emotionally intimate, he tries to not make too much eye contact and sometimes he accidentally speaks to me in his gentle baby voice which was our thing when we were a loving couple… He sometimes seems emotionally disconnected and then at times he says he’s a baby and wants me to hold him and play with his hair”.

    You asked him June 2018, one month into the break, where you stand. His response: “he put up a cold front and said we are still  on a break and that if cuddling and being intimate is too much for me, he’ll back off”. The intimacy, minus “intimate kisses, hugs and eye contact” continued.

    The month after, July 2018, you wrote: “There have been improvements. The eye contact is improving. He said that I could hold his hand at an event we went to. He put his arms around me and couldn’t stop smelling my fresh clean hair. He even plays with my hair and brushes my hair out of my face and curls it behind my ear. So there has been a change”. You then “told him to make a decision.. if he needs me to move out I’ll make a plan. And his response was ‘I don’t need you to go anywhere. I do feel like I want to be single though,  but we can work towards something better but for now we can keep things as they are'”.

    The month after, August 2018, after he won a big fight, you wrote: “This break practically ended on its own. He calls me his girlfriend and speaks about us as if none of the break drama happened”, but no conversation about the break or the nature of the relationship has taken place: “I do want to speak to him about everything but I’m waiting for the right time.. having a serious conversation like this too soon can send him back to his anxiety”.

    As things improved August, your anger at him went up (“He wanted to be reckless and free.. All that was left  was an arrogant, selfish, ruthless, heartless, emotionless, depressed, confused, and broken man… I unfortunately am dealing with a commitment phobe with childhood issues… He’s very lazy and he’s at home during the day as I am at work but everyday I come home to a messy house. It is tiring but I try and not feel resentment“), and his sex drive went down (He doesn’t seem to think about sex as often and doesn’t notice the signs that I’m turned on.. I told him how  I’m feeling a little frustrated from the lack of sex and he confessed that he struggles to get sexually excited. I told him it’s caused from lazy habits and it needs to change in order for your sex life to improve… Now that we are doing much better and our relationship is in a good place, I can’t understand why he has such a low sex drive… He used to be very big on sex and he always had a much higher sex drive than me but that seems to have just died down..  lucky if we have sex once a week”).

    September 2018, you wrote: “I do have some pain and anger for what he did.. we are still yet to talk about the break… that needs to happen in its right time.. to ensure this type of thing never happens again”. Your anger was still up: “he will never own up  to a stupid decision driven by stupid emotions.. He will try and justify and make it sound like he knows what he’s doing. Trying to get a head strong person to confess their wrong doings is like trying to move a mountain.. it still infuriates me that he is continuing our relationship innocently and has never apologized for the pain he caused me… I am less accepting of his lazy habits and instead of keeping quiet and picking up his slack, I make it known what standard I’m willing to accept from him”.

    October 2018, “He has recently told me that we need to have more friends and that we need to get more away from each other. He said that he can’t miss me if he’s always spending time with me”.

    Two months later, December 2018: “He has been feeling very suffocated and says he doesn’t feel like he makes his own decisions. I do have an issue with being over clingy at times and  … I tend to rely on him to take a lot of my emotional rants when I get overwhelmed... He is afraid of what the relationship does to him and he even told me he is no longer in love with me… He then opened up through heavy sobbing and crying that he is so confused and he doesn’t know what he’s doing… we both  sat on the edge of our bed and I asked him once again if he wants me to stop fighting for him and move on.. and (he) couldn’t answer me”. Next, he “suggested we get high and tipsy to relax us. So we did … and suddenly we both felt electricity between us ad we ended up kissing and had sex… The last thing I remember him saying he needed was to be alone”. You then suggested that he stays at his relatives and have no contact with you for a while. He then “asked how I am going to cope”, and you told him “I will have to suffer and deal with the pain”, and that you “wasted 3 years of my life and love”. The next evening he packed a small bag, and said “he will be back in the morning”, then left.

    Eleven months later, November 2019, you wrote: “he just doesn’t do anything, goes into a dark place where he’s demotivated to train  and ends up hanging around the house and doesn’t clean up after himself…  he keeps looking for things to complain about like that he feels suffocated and he feels he can’t make his own decisions.. He does nothing and it’s like he doesn’t know what to do or what he wants… Still today he gets in the weird space where he isn’t being productive in his life.. He blames me for the way he’s feeling (trapped, not confident, inability to think and make individual decisions)… His confusion and ups and downs are really stressful… He tends to always find an issue in our relationship… I .. may have suffocated him for some time but I am really working on letting him have his space.. but he is always going through highs and lows… I’m at home all day and he also  is at home a lot more often, we tend to be in each other’s space a lot and do most things together which is now starting to bother him. But I try to make him understand that he needs to take time  out for himself to get back to his ambitious happy state but he doesn’t do  it because he procrastinates and ends up throwing undeserving resentment towards me for his lack of independence”.

    You wrote about his mother: “He always told me that his mother used to shout and swear when he got homework wrong. She used to scream with so much anger that the saliva would come from her mouth… He has been programmed by his mother’s aggression at a young age… She pretends to be caring and giving but it’s  only her ammo to later use against you… One moment she’s praising him and being a proud mother and the next she’s passively insulting him and disregarding him. Also she has kicked him out of her house many times for no real reason”.

    And now my input following hours of studying your threads over the last few days:

    It is true that he has been emotionally damaged by his mother. But it is also true that he has been emotionally damaged by you. Your disapproval of him, dissatisfaction and disappointment with him, and your anger at him are evident throughout your relationship with him, beginning with you being upset with him for seeing you  only once a week, at the very beginning of the relationship.

    During the second break (May-August 2018) you were very scared of losing him, so your anger was dormant for a while and you put on what you called <i>the best version of yourself</i>, no longer arguing with him, encouraging him and giving him some space. But the arguments that characterized the relationship before the second break, resumed when as soon as the second break relaxed. The worst version of yourself resumed once you felt safer in this dysfunctional and unhealthy relationship.

    Like his mother,  you expressed your disapproval and disappointment with him. You initiated arguments, blamed him for your distress, burdened him with long emotional rants, turned hot and cold (being dishonestly manipulative this way). I imagine that unlike his mother, you didn’t scream at him and saliva didn’t come out of your mouth, but your many arguments, rants, multiple emotional texts, disappearing for the weekend/ pretending to be cold, complaining to him about what you perceive to be his laziness and lack of  initiative and on and  on and on-  all these are your version of aggression that you have perpetrated against him for years.

    Because of his childhood trauma, he hasn’t been able to end this dysfunctional and unhealthy relationship with you. He has been drained and depressed because of your aggression and his inability to end this relationship.

    Problem is, you are so intensely attached to him that you will not  do what is right for him (and for you) and end this relationship. If you really loved him, you would let him go, so that he has a chance to be free from a woman’s aggression for the first time in his young life. Give him that chance by either moving out or having him move out, so that the two  of you no longer live together and no longer have a relationship.

    You are not emotionally healthier than him and by staying together the two of you do  not have the opportunity to heal from your  individual childhood experiences. The two of you by staying together, maintain your own and each other’s sickness.

    You are not part of the solution for him. You are part of the problem. Will you love him enough to set him free from you (He is and has been suffocating for a long time, don’t you see?) and give him a chance for a better life, and then, make a better life for yourself?




    <p style=”text-align: left;”>My past threads has been based on my opinion and views which arent always accurate readings of the situation. There is too sides to the story which he tries his best to make clear when we both in a good place. No couple is perfect and no person is going to be perfect either. I am not a ranting raging woman at all. I am actually very passive and calm even in moments not many people would be calm about. I am extremely loving, open minded and I forgive easily, especially because I know he is struggling at times with things he and I may not quite understand. He speaks to a friend of his and expresses his lostness and emotions that he battles with and most of the time it’s got nothing to do with me, he struggles with depression, he procrastinates and battles to finish things he started, now I mentioned alot of this on my thread but this is not what I say to him on a regular basis. I always encourage him and support him when I notice his back into a dark place. He at times blurs the lines between his own mind and emotions and projects his feelings into our relationship which isn’t always fair on me. The decision he and I made to always be there for one another still stands and I seems to always pick him up when his down. And I make sure he takes responsibility for his actions and decisions because at times even he agrees he does stupid shit which he tries hard to be a better person and achieve his goals. I have been a good influence in his life for a long time and he hates how his own baggage and problems starts pouring into our relationship and his progress in his career. he at times needs me to snap him out of it in a stern yet loving way. He respects me better now that I dont take nonsense from him and I also have more control over my emotions and insecurities. We are in a much better place, not perfect as he is still dealing with his self destructive patterns but we talk it through and we overcome situations together. My perspective of the relationship is very emotional driven and at times I to can exaggerate the situation that he may seems as small but that again is my problem is that at times I’m very sensitive and I let him know if his moods or attitude is causing me distress which he apologises for and we respect eachother for who we are and our growth. We have a clothing business together which we run from home, the issue is that he procrastinates and isn’t consistent with running our business so that has been frustrating me alot recently and I’m not in any way treating him different but im trying to get him to understand that our life needs structure and teamwork for us to run a successful business and home. He still trains but his been so lazy and stayed at home many times when hes supposed to be at the gym and he ends up hating himself for it so I try keep him consistent by motivating time and structure to his day but he tends to be very pessimistic and cant see how blessed he is and I try to make it clear to him cause he doesnt always see things clearly. I explain it to him this way. (You want a successful future as an Athlete you gotta be consistent in the gym, if you want to run a successful business you need to make time to handle the business needs, if you want a happy relationship you need to put in effort. But if you arent training at the gym, not selling clothes for our business, not helping me clean the house or cooks meals then what are you doing?) This kind of harsh conversation usually only happens when he is being very hard on me and looking for faults in his life when in reality it’s all in his mind because he has a partner who is loving, understanding, patient, forgiving and helps him with almost everything, his life is everything that he makes of it and he can’t seems to see how wonderful things are for him because his self talk and insecurities cause him to be so pesimistic and self destructive. He agrees that he may need to go on a antidepressant and has admitted before that he use to find external ways to boost his confidence and happiness but now that he is a mature man he feels he had no father figure to teach him how to be a man and has nobody to ask advice when he needs it so I love my boyfriend and I forgive him over and over again because I understand he never had real guidance or a positive role model to look up to. The fact that he is doing his best all on his own and can eventually admit when his wrong is enough for me to have hope and be patient with him cause I truly want the best for him. Things may have been hard over the years and we had to overcome 3 breaks but it has genuinely matured us and made us stronger. We are very clear and transparent with eachother no manipulation or nonsense. Love is about accepting eachother for better or for worse and yes we both have alot of growing to do.</p>


    Dear Lady:

    “his lostness and emotions that he battles with.. most of the time it’s got nothing to do with me”- his terrible childhood of course, has a lot to do with his emotional troubles, his depression, what you refer to as his laziness, his habit of procrastinating, and so forth. Problem as I see it, is that you are not helping him and he is not helping you.

    It is as if you are certain deep inside you, that you can’t live without him. It is as if you have two options: life with him,  or no life at all. You hold on to him because you don’t perceive a life without him.

    You do a lot of rationalizing and use a lot of words that sound good, but all together, in context of what you shared through the years, what motivates you is very singular: a belief that there can not be life for you without him in it.

    “he doesn’t see things clearly”- but you don’t either. You don’t see that this relationship is unhealthy and dysfunctional, and has been so from its beginning.

    Here is the evidence of this dysfunction: you tried a lot to help him, encourage him and so forth. But there is one thing you didn’t try: separation. I don’t mean disappearing for a weekend as you did once, or asking him if he wants you to move  out, but actually moving out.

    When you did ask him if he wants you to move out many months ago, his answer was something along the line of: how will you, Lady, survive without me, how will you make it without me? (He remembers well that you told him you were considering suicide that one time he broke up with you before you moved in with him).

    Did you consider that you need him desperately, but he may not need you?

    “in reality .. he has a partner who is loving, understanding, patient, forgiving and helps him with almost everything”-

    – no, in reality he has a woman so desperate to live with him that she will keep him with her no matter how much it hurts him.

    “I truly want the best for him”- only if he stays with you. If it is best for him to separate- you are not willing to do that for him.

    “Love is about accepting each other for better or for worse”- love is also about giving up on the relationship when the evidence over time points to the relationship being harmful to the man you supposedly love. In other words, you need him way more than you love him.


    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by anita.
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