January 28, 2020 at 5:42 am #335464
I’ve recently hit a major issue in my long term relationship and I am looking for some help and advice. I think just getting things written down will probably help too!
My partner and I have been together for 14 years. However, due to financial reasons and the way the UK housing market is we have never been able to live together and both live with our respective parents. It hasn’t been easy as I spend a lot of time travelling back and forth because I stay at his house on a regular basis. Unfortunately my parents are very traditional (my father mainly) and even though I am over 30 he will not allow my partner to stay over at our house. This has caused a lot of issues in itself and my partners relationship with my parents is frosty/non-existent because of this. He says he does not feel welcome at my parents house and that they disapprove of him etc so he has visited my house less and less as the years have passed by.
I should also note here that I have previously, and still do to an extent, suffered with anxiety and depression. Although I am pretty much ok at the moment and managing my mental health it seems that my partner is now depressed and lacking a lot of self esteem.
After a lot of work and time saving a reasonable deposit we finally had an offer for a mortgage and started looking at properties to buy. For me all I am looking for is a safe, warm and comfortable home for the two of us to live in. However, for my partner the most important thing is a decent size garage or garden that he can build a workshop in as he is a car and motorbike enthusiast. Whilst I love that he is passionate about his hobby/work and I really want to support him in that respect it is very hard to find such a property that meets both our needs and is close to where both our families live. If we move further away then our income would be affected.
So, recently we saw a property that we thought might suit both of our needs. A small 3 bed property with a lot of outside space where my partner could build a workshop or garage at a price that we could buy outright with the money we have saved and no mortgage. The catch – it doesn’t actually have permission to be used as a dwelling and no building regulations etc.
Initially I went along with the idea. Thinking that this was IT and we were going to achieve all of our dreams. I completely ignored all of the red flags initially because he was so excited and happy and in a way it seemed perfect. My partner did not seem to see any of the potential issues as a problem and I didn’t even stop to think about it properly. We made an offer that was accepted and everything seemed great.
However, after a heart to heart with my parents I realised that there was a lot at risk. I would be putting in 2/3 of the money to purchase the property with no guarantees that we could live there either now or in the future. I was angry with my parents at first because I wanted their support but then I realised that they were only looking out for me and also have more experience than I do with these types of things. After thinking long and hard about it I decided that I would be able to go through with the purchase because the risks were so high.
I eventually plucked up the courage to tell my partner that I could not go through with it. It was not easy. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do to someone I love. It broke his heart. The look on his face was pure devastation and like I had just murdered someone or told him someone had died. I never want to see him look like that again and I feel so guilty that I have hurt him in such a way. I expected him to be angry with me and upset but it seemed to be a million times worse than that for him. He said that I had stolen his dream away and that he could not believe the person he cared about the most in this world could do this to him.
I asked him if he wanted some space and he said that would be for the best. For a couple of days I left him alone and then we met back up a few days later. He was (and is) still so hurt and angry. He did say he would rather I was honest but it still seems like this is a really big deal for him and he cannot see my point of view at all. I am trying to be patient and give it time for our relationship to get back on track. Even when he has said some horrible things (and blamed my parents for my decision etc) I have bit my tongue and not retaliated. I have accepted that my decision has caused him to feel this way and apologised that this has caused him such turmoil and suffering. He is still feeling a lot of anger and resentment which hurts a lot because up until now we have always been really close and supportive of each other. I love him with all of my heart so it makes me feel awful to see him like this.
I apologise for the essay! If you read this far than well done and thank you for bearing with me! I really do not know what else to do. I feel like this is my ‘fault’ although I know I made the right (sensible and boring) decision. I really hope our relationship can get through this but I am worried that it might not…
If anyone can offer any advise on how to deal with this, rebuild his trust in me, or has dealt with a major conflict in their relationship and survived I would really greatly appreciate it.
Thank you, xxJanuary 28, 2020 at 10:16 am #335516AnonymousGuest
My thoughts as I read your post:
1. It is your parents’ right to not have your boyfriend in their home overnight. It is unfortunate for your boyfriend and for you, I suppose, but it is not your boyfriend’s property, or yours, so neither one of you has the legal or moral right to decide if he stays over.
2. If the property you found “doesn’t actually have permission to be used as a dwelling”, and no way to get that permission, or no way for the two of you to finance such a permission, then that property is not a home you can live in, and your boyfriend’s lasting anger and disappointment directed at you (and your parents) is completely irrational. His lasting anger and disappointment at you (and at your parents) regarding your rational choice to not invest your money in a non-dwelling is a perfect example of what is called emotional reasoning, that is because he feels excited about buying the property, then it is the right choice to buy it.
“It broke his heart.. pure devastation… stolen his dream away”- he doesn’t understand that the non-dwelling property is not his dream, and therefore you didn’t steal his dream away from him. And days later, he still “cannot see (your) point of view at all”.
Reads to me that this property situation intensified his pre-existing depression and he is not thinking rationally. You did well to make the rational choice, and not wasting money you worked so hard to earn and save. But he is not doing well. You did all you can to explain the rational behind your decision and to show him support for his devastation. I don’t know what else you can do ?
anitaJanuary 28, 2020 at 11:22 pm #335608
Thank you Anita.
what you have said makes a lot of sense.
I do understand that my parents have the right to decide whether or not my partner can stay over. I respect their choice and that this is their house. I am happy, most of the time, to live by their rules because it’s their house and I respect them.
I think what you have said about emotional reasoning sounds correct. I don’t think my partner has listened to my rational behind my decision. He does seem to be hanging onto the feeling of excitement and joy at finding a property we could ‘afford’ and where we could achieve our ‘dreams’.
Its weird because I always thought he was the rational and logical person and I am the highly sensitive, emotional and unrealistic person in the relationship. For years he has always been the practical one keeping me grounded.
Like you have said I think that recent events have aggravated his pre-existing issue with depression. I’m not sure how to help him through that if I’m honest! But I will try my best because he already did the same for me 4 years ago when I was at my very lowest.
Thank you xJanuary 29, 2020 at 11:09 am #335652AnonymousGuest
You are welcome. I guess he is “hanging onto the feeling of excitement and joy at finding a property we could ‘afford’ and where we could achieve our ‘dreams'”, because if he lets go of this excitement/ joy, he is back to the despair and hopelessness that characterize depression.
To help him, stick to your rational thinking (and don’t invest money unwisely so to feed his excitement for just a little longer!) and spend time with him, if he lets you, doing little things together, some fun things perhaps, bowling (an example that came to mind), some physical activities. Hopefully he will gradually get off that exciting/ joyful ride he got on, a ride that would have brought you and him a lot of misery later on.
Post anytime you want to, and I will be glad to reply to you again.
anitaFebruary 2, 2020 at 7:07 am #336284
So things have been going ok recently. My bf has been ok with spending time with me and doing things together. I’ve had to be brave enough to continue visiting him and staying over at his parents house but I’ve been struggling with a lot of emotions and stress related to our situation.
I have been struggling with feelings of guilt and shame. Even though I know I made the right decision it feels like my bf is still ‘holding it against me’. He has made a few comments that have cut a bit deep. For example we were shopping for food for dinner and I suddenly had a massive feeling of indecision and anxiety because I couldn’t decide what to buy. This happens to me a lot anyway because (even before the recent ‘disagreement’) I always want to make others happy and want them to decide so I can be sure they are going to be pleased. Anyway I asked my bf what he would like for food and he kept saying it was up to me. I said I wanted his input but he said ‘it’s easier for you to make the decision, that way you won’t change your mind and pull out so easily’ This really upset me and I asked him not to be mean.
I do understand that he is depressed. That recent events have hurt him etc. So I can understand why he would say something like that. I don’t like feeling that I have disappointed him. That he is disappointed in me. Even though I am comfortable with the logical decision I made the consequences hurt me emotionally. I also understand that healing this will take time. I just want things to go back to the way they were so badly.
We were having a nice weekend. It was just the two of us as his parents had gone away. Everything seemed to be going ok and enjoying each other’s company like we used to. But then his parents came home earlier than expected and it felt like that changed things again. we retreated to his room and haven’t really done anything else for the rest of the day. I know he is frustrated because of this. Then I guess it reminds both of us of the difficulties of living with parents and not living our lives how we want to.
Before his parents came home early I had been thinking how nice it was when it’s just the two of us. That living together would be lovely and I felt a little bit of hope again.
I guess I just need to be more patient. I do see a therapist on a regular basis which helps me keep things in perspective.February 2, 2020 at 11:03 am #336316AnonymousGuest
It is possible that he will continue to use your (logical and sensible) decision regarding the property against you because it serves him to do that: he gets to send some pain your way every time he feels frustrated in life and it gives him a relief to do that. It is the hallmark of abuse: to spreads the pain around so to get a relief, however temporary.
If he continues to refer to the real estate (logical and sensible..!) decision that you made against you as he did most recently, then it is abuse. It is the kind of abuse that doesn’t involve bleeding or broken bones, or even cuss words, it involves a repeating poking of sorts, a small stab of sorts, once in a while when he feels the need to relieve himself a bit. It wears a person down to be at the receiving end of this slow, bit by bit kind of torture.
If I was you, I would make it very clear to him that he needs to immediately and completely stop this passive-aggressive kind of poking, blaming, those emotional little stabs. If you try “to be more patient” with him as he continues this slow pace abuse, then he gets more comfortable doing it and .. it is not good way for you to live!
anitaFebruary 2, 2020 at 12:31 pm #336328MarkParticipant
I agree with anita. You two have been a long distance relationship for a long time. This does not mean you know each other that well. I only trust a relationship if I have experienced disagreements and worked them through with my partner in a kind and satisfactorily manner. Plus if I would need to have been through different situations, circumstances, stress, and around others with my partner in order to trust the integrity of the relationship. I would see different behavior and the true character of the person this way.
I see the cracks of your boyfriend’s character from this passive-agressive snarky behavior.