July 21, 2020 at 2:36 am #362244AizhanaParticipant
This is gonna be long, I’m very sorry.
As the title says. I’m currently in a LDR with my boyfriend of almost two years and I’m (more or less secretly) trying to understand if this relationship is actually working or not. This is also my first relationship so that doesn’t really help, lol.
Let me start by saying that I do really, really care for him and love him dearly. I’m not very good at expressing these positive feelings when “complaining” so I’ll just put it right there. I feel loved and seen and free to share my emotions with him, which is a lot for me. I dealt with depression in the past and my therapist and I just decided to “take a break” since I got much better, and I know it’s also because of the growing I did thanks to being in a relationship with him.
Thing is. I’ve also been feeling very “stuck” for the past few months. It’ll try to turn my doubts and critical points into a list.
– BASIC INDEPENDENCE. I work fulltime and, despite dropping out of Uni, I found my dream field and I’m actively walking towards a career in what I like by taking courses, working hard, and just generally taking opportunities and learning as I go. I’m financially independent and I have my own place and car. My boyfriend, on the other hand, is still studying despite being older. He’s still working on his BA, which will probably take him one more year, and is considering getting a MA after that. He does not drive (doesn’t have a car nor needs it since public transportation is enough for him, but still could not drive if he had one) nor cook anything more than pasta (I had to teach him how to make scrambled eggs over the phone just hours ago). Him being almost 30 (turning 29 in a few months), this alarms me… also considering that he does not work, but depends on his mother’s money instead (which is a very, very low amount of money per month) for all expenses, including traveling to meet. Which brings me to:
– MONEY. I mostly do the paying, which is fine most of the time, but gets stressful and humiliating to both of us (even more so when he pays for dinner of once, but we both know it makes him suffer). I tried to ask him to get a job (any, really) which resulted in him saying that he wants to focus on finishing his studies first. His dream field is also very very hard to reach (writer). Which means I see no clear end in this situation. He has talked about eventually considering moving in with me and marriage – and I made it clear that that can’t be possible with no money to contribute equally or at least him settling down. I feel bad to consider this an important point, but it affects my life greatly as I haven’t been able to properly save money nor have an actual short holiday since we got together, and we wouldn’t be able to have one until he starts working. First world problems, I know, but still. It’s the feeling of being stuck like this for who knows why that’s hard.
– MANNERS. This is very stupid and maybe shallow but his manners in social situations are that of a child. Being very loud in public (both talking or randomly singing in the street etc), sneezing and snuffling loudly at the table, eating with his back completely curved over the dish OR raising said dish to his mouth to eat, plus always being on the phone reading random stuff online (not hiding anything lol). This normally doesn’t bother me when we’re home alone (except for the phone thing), but he also does this when we’re out, no matter the place nor the company nor the occasion. Did so at my birthday dinner with my family at a restaurant, did so at our anniversary dinner. I feel “like a mother” for asking him not to do it, and I’m sure he’d just hate it and hate me for it, so I often avoid saying anything at all. But yes, sometimes it’s like being with a child in that sense. The phone thing especially makes me feel very lonely sometimes. I’d understand if he was talking to his good friends, but 90% of the time is really just Facebook or random group chats while we’re eating or in the middle of talking.
– THE BEDROOM. Without going TMI, I’m the one with the higher drive. He says he wants to enjoy things at his own pace and I obviously don’t want to force him, but this led to many episodes of rejection and I don’t initiate anything anymore and most days and nights are very dry. IE, we saw each other for the first time in 3 months and he did not want any intimacy for the first 4/5 days, which really hurt me. When I do try, it’s with cuddles (so I don’t hurt myself in the process as more explicit tries always resulted in him feeling forced and me feeling shitty). 90% of the times he’d say something like “I just feel so relaxed when I’m by your side” and falls asleep in a matter of seconds, sometimes saying he’s sorry, and me almost crying after he falls asleep. It’s not a dead bedroom, and I do agree with him that just spending time together is probably more precious in the long run, but this has been going on since literally our first time together (which was the first for both of us). I did suggest new things I know he likes (as he’s ironically very vocal about his fantasies) and he appreciates, but they still don’t help if he’s not already in the mood. No honeymoon phase, not under the covers, even though we’re in our 20s. It does make me wonder how it’ll be in the future, and I feel miserable when I think about it.
– HIS INFERIORITY COMPLEX. All the above points are very difficult to bring up to him because of his inferiority complex. I’m admittedly very insecure, but with him being like this I feel like I have to act the part of the Adult One(TM) and this, together with my career and financial stability and cooking skills (lol), makes him feel inferior. He has a high opinion of me, so often asks for advice – only to feel attacked and attacking back whenever I actually give it to him, which is infuriating and frustrating.
I know I’ve been harsh but in the end, I do love him and part of me wants to stay with him the hope all these “changeable” aspects of his will eventually change as he grows more mature. But really, I had been hoping this maturity would have come by now. I’m extremely thankful for this relationship as it’s been a good foundation on which I started building more and more confidence as an adult. I started running towards a goal thanks to him. He did not, and I now feel stuck and “slowed down”. I also feel bad debating this as he’s very vulnerable and his family is a nightmare, and while mine is definitely not all sparkles and giggles, he goes along very well with the children in the family and says he’s happy he can actually picture a future in the family.
Since it’s my first relationship, let alone a serious one, I did my searching for “is this problem common?” or “should I break up?” articles online, but they all seem to say that you should stay together if not for more serious stuff like cheating, not loving each other anymore, etc. I do love him, so these sources say I should endure it. We have no clear “deadline” like moving together etc, so it’s a little easier and there’s less pressure… But I’m also afraid I’ll only end up hurting him, even more than I already have.
We spent the last month together, and it honestly made things even more confusing. We had a few fights about some of these points, and he is already convinced I’ll leave him and I just don’t fully realize it yet. He’s was very mature (and sad, and hurt) while saying this. But I love spending time with him. I love him. I feel emotionally supported, which is incredible, but I don’t feel that material, day-to-day support nor I can see it in the near future. I really, really don’t know what to do. I did post this somewhere else last night and someone commented that I’m probably looking for a “yes, you should break up” as I’ve been searching for articles and the like and still posted about this, but at the same time, I feel like the other part was hoping to find a “no” that was meant for my very situation and not for a generic couple used as an example. As if I was looking for a “Don’t worry, it’s normal, X will get better, Y will be worth it” and so on. I’m probably just naive, but mostly very confused and afraid to make a bad decision either way.
Should I keep trying and hoping this will get better? Is it worth it as the articles say? Or is secretly hoping he’ll do a 180° very respectful to him? Should I give myself an ultimatum – and if yes, should I tell him or leave him in the dark about my doubts? How should I address this situation now that we’re LD again and can’t meet in person for at least another month? Should I wait it out until we’re together again?
TL;DR: I have a few issues with my boyfriend I had hoped we would have gotten past at this point. I feel like I’m running but keep being slowed down by the relationship, even though I love him very much. I really don’t want to hurt him any more than I already have, but at the same time I’m afraid what I’m experiencing is “just a normal phase” in the relationship and we’ll get past it and he’ll mature at his own pace. Should I keep trying and hoping this will get better? Or would it make things even worse? Should I give myself an ultimatum – and if yes, should I tell him or leave him in the dark about my doubts?July 21, 2020 at 9:31 am #362281anitaParticipant
You shared in your previous thread and in this one that you have “a long history of depression, self-hate and anxiety”, that you were on meds, got off them, went regularly to therapy, then started taking meds again because of work problems and the quarantine earlier this year, and you are on a break from therapy because you made a lot of progress.
You described your boyfriend (almost 29) as depressed, self hating, whining, overreacting, immature , having very poor social and table manners, quite incapable in matters of practical skills, financially dependent on his mother, living on a very small amount of money every month (so much so, that at one point he told you that having a sandwich with two slices of bread is wasteful). He is currently working on his BA, plans to go for an MA, and his dream job is to be a writer, which is very difficult to reach.
You, being 26, are superior to him in all the areas that you mentioned, including being able to cook and drive, being financially independent and working in your dream job.
“To him, I sound like I put myself on a pedestal and feel superior to him”- reads to me that his inferiority in all the areas you mentioned may be behind that good foundation that you mentioned in this sentence: “I’m extremely thankful for this relationship as it’s been a good foundation on which I started building more and more confidence as an adult. I started running towards a goal thanks to him”-
– Maybe his inferiority made you feel safe. He has been stationary, from not driving to not working, to not maturing.. not going anywhere, so you could count on him to be there for you if you move forward, and so, you had the courage to run forward.
It is similar to a child being able to move away from her parent and explore life only when she feels safe enough that her parent will still be there for her when she needs comfort, so she moves away from the parent, gaining some independence, looks back to see that the parents is still there, then explores life some more, moving closer and closer toward independence. The independence I am referring to in your case is emotional independence.
I don’t think you owe him to stay in the relationship with him. If you feel safe enough to keep moving forward in your life without him, it will be a good idea that you end this relationship and move forward in your life. As is, I don’t think you are harming him, but you are not helping him either. If you continue the relationship with him, reads to me that you will be paying a heavy price for that initial safety that you felt with him, the safety that made it possible for you to make significant progress in your mental health.