This topic contains 11 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Newbie 2 weeks ago.
July 15, 2020 at 11:57 am #796511
I’m feeling pretty confused and lost concerning my relationship with my partner. I would love to read some of your insights.
We are both in our early 30’s and we have been together for 10 months. We live in his home in his home country in North America, I’m from Europe and was here with a working visa when I met him. We clicked well from the very beginning and even if I was afraid it would be only infatuation because everything was going too fast, too soon, I gave up my initial plans to go and visit another part of his country and followed him in the middle of nowhere where he had to work for a while. Then we moved into his house together. Everything felt really natural and I didn’t ask myself much more question.
The thing is, when we moved in together in his house, he suddenly changed and stopped being the man I loved. He became cold, preoccupied with something he wouldn’t talk about, uninterested, would distance himself physically and emotionnaly, stopped telling me how much he liked me and why, was almost mean sometimes. He used to be the kindest person, very attentive, very loving and affectionnate, always happy to be with me, interested in me, excellent listener too… So I thought that was just the magic of the early relationship and after trying to talk to him about this sudden change a few times without any change, I took the decision to leave because I was becoming really unhappy and sad. He had a major awakening when he realized I was feeling sad enough and promised he would change. He also explained to me why he was feeling so stressed and overwhelmed (and that wasn’t related to me). I was cautious at first because I wanted to see his long-term actions but he actually really changed. He became affectionnate and loving again, interested in me, we started to have fun together again and the more we were getting to be with each other, the more we were ourselves and I think we were rediscovering each other and truly falling in love without the infatuation this time.
But here I am, feeling unhappy again. I lost my job at the beginning of the pandemic and then my working visa ended, so I’m still at his place but on a tourist visa and no possibility of paid work. It’s been incredibly long, I’ve been having a few activities and tried some new hobbies but I can’t stand anymore to be stranded here where I used to travel and move all the time before. He is away the whole week and we see each other only the week-end. I’m on my own the whole week and don’t have any friends here. I’m feeling incredibly lonely and as if I’m wasting my time.
I’m going back to my home country in a few weeks for a while, and I was supposed after that to come back to his place so we could start the application for my permanent residence through his sponsorship (my idea, but he agreed). That takes a while (up to a year and even more sometimes ) and I can be in his country only as a tourist now. Plus he is working in remote places most of the upcoming year which mean I will be at his house and will barely see him from times to times. Something was growing uncomfortable and resentful inside me and I have to say I’ve been relieved when I found that that this plan wasn’t currently good, as I also have to be in his country when the permanent residence will be delivered to me and I have no idea when will that happen.
I’m feeling both relief and guilt. Starting this permanent residence application means I will have to save money mostly to be in his country as a tourist and to sit there without doing anything for my future for months. Also, when I will get this visa one year later if I get it, that will also be the time where he will be away for a very demanding school for one year where I won’t see him at all (he didn’t ask me to follow him there and it’s already been said that we won’t be able to see each other).
On my side, I want to go back to university, for at least 3 years, if not 4. I could study for cheap in Europe or I could study in his country but I would have to take a huge loan only to cover the university fees. He also lives in a very expensive area, which he can afford, but I can’t. And I honestly find the prices ridiculously high and I’m not willing to have to pay double for everything on the long-term (I would like to have my own B&B in the future and it’s not an option to buy something where he lives). Because he is paying for his own house, the renovations, and considering he will have to take a big loan for his school next year, visiting me in Europe is off the table. Holidays or traveling together, the same. He doesn’t even think about it. I feel like I’m the one invested and he just tags along, passively, but working on his future first when I was willing to compromise on mine before. Now I feel like I matter as well and should do the best for my career and my happiness. And I don’t see that happening in this current setting.
On the other side, he is everything I’ve dreamed of for a partner : kind, patient, compassionnate, beautiful values, strong, good listener, sweet… But I’m feeling a bit suffocated right now. I’m bored, really bored (I can’t drive in this country) and I can’t wait for it to end, even if that means being away from him. I’m also going some health issues right now which leave me extremely tired and I’m not as patient as before with him. When I used to love to talk with him and debate, now I just want to be left alone and I’m finding myself having issues to listen to him when he is the best listener in the world, so here again, guilty feeling.
He never plans for anything, never takes me out on dates, life is very much about work with him and I don’t know… Where I used to be happy to make all the plans for us to have fun, now I’m tired and would like to be “chased”. Also, we don’t have long-term plans together (buying a house together for example, or moving to another place…) He’s been single for a long while before me and I don’t know if it’s for that reason but each time he is talking about his future, I’m never in the picture. I know he loves me though, and I don’t want to hurt him.
Where are we going together ? I don’t want to break up but if I choose myself, I don’t see a positive outcome for our relationship 🙁 and that hurts. He also expects me to come back visit me later in the year.
Thank you in advance.July 15, 2020 at 12:58 pm #796521
I think the way you worded this, you already know your answer.
You tried really hard to make this work but at a high cost. He’s living a life that you don’t want to live, your dreams don’t fit into. The only way to make it work is to give up your own wants/dreams/needs. I have a feeling you will be very unhappy if you prioritize his life and basic living situation over yours.
Choose yourself first. Let go of trying to make your round peg dreams fit into his square hole life. You respect him enough to be honest about it, and that’s going to be a hard talk.
It’s okay to love someone (and have them love you in their own way) and have things not work out. He’s living a life that you can’t see yourself being happy in. That’s okay! Wish him happiness and leave to go pursue your own dreams.July 15, 2020 at 1:04 pm #796522
You’ve settled for a man who throws you crumbs and you’ve lowered your standards and now you’re in a no-win situation. You keep doing all the work and now you’re hooked on him. You’re the frog who is now almost completely boiled because you didn’t feel the water getting hot over time and get the hell out to preserve yourself.
You’ve allowed yourself to become completely dependent upon him. You can’t drive, you can’t work, you can’t leave, you can’t do anything. And if he sponsors you for a visa, how is that going to work? Do you see you are putting yourself completely at his mercy? It really sticks out that there’s not one word here about marriage and family. You may be from a country where marriage isn’t a big deal, but it’s still important in the United States.
It’s time to reclaim yourself. This is going absolutely nowhere.
It’s going to be hard because I can tell you don’t really want to leave him. But the relationship is past its shelf life and you’re now wasting time on a guy who doesn’t want you long term. I feel from what you’ve written you know this deep down. I don’t think there’s a person on this site who will advise staying put.
You don’t need to ask us where you’re going together, you need to ASK HIM directly. And be prepared the answer is going to be painful and you’re going to have to break this off and move out and move on. Because if he’s been single a long time, talks about the future and never mentions you and has never brought up marriage, the answer is he’s joyriding with you, enjoying your company as long as you’re willing to stay around on his terms. He’s not serious about you and I think you know that but you’re sticking around hoping he will step up like he did before.
I wouldn’t worry about “hurting” him. Love is great but it isn’t enough to build a future with someone on. You need compatibility and a desire to commit to each other over the long term, for better or for worse (with or without formal marriage).
I haven’t told you anything you don’t already know – it’s time to have a heart heart and prepare to pack and leave when he tells you he won’t commit. If he does say he’ll try harder, you have to realize you’re on very dangerous ground because you’re so dependent upon him. I just don’t see this turning out in your favor without a pretty huge miracle shift in him. You’re gambling with your time and your life and I don’t see that it’s anywhere near worth the risk.July 15, 2020 at 1:12 pm #796525
I forgot to say… the part about where he’ll be in school and can’t see you for a year… pretty much impossible for your relationships to survive that.July 15, 2020 at 1:16 pm #796526
It sounds like the universe is telling you to be in Europe where studying would be cheaper.July 15, 2020 at 2:58 pm #796533
Relationships sometimes just dont last. Mainly because of not being compatible. But in this case youre also in a rut. You decided to fly back to your homecountry. With everything you described and him working at remote places next year and you without a job plays a big part in this, i would say that finishing university would make perfect sense. That will set you up for life. If both of you are interested in continuing this, you can decide later on. As a european im in a relationship with an american man. At some point in time we decided i would live there, get married etc. But then i woke up and realized i hate the part of the country he lives in, i hate his love for trump. So i decided to keep it long distance. He was fine with it. Since we have a very strong mental bond. So we fly up and down and havent seen each other now in a while but still going good. But im 51 and i can afford to make that choice since its just us. But if i had been younger i might have not chosen that. And what i mean to say to you is: there is more at stake as you and he. So give it some time and dont only follow the ‘but i love him’ adagium. Take careJuly 15, 2020 at 5:46 pm #796543
Thank you all for your answers.
You’re all right, and I already know what I should do. My dreams don’t fit into his life and the fact that he never talks future for us had always bothered me, and a part of me had always feared that he will somehow let the relationship fade once I would have to leave the country for a while (hence why he never anticipated that or talked about me being away, and why I was so desperate to secure the relationship by getting this permanent residence).
He is great but he probably doesn’t see me as the one for him, or he would do more (he is againt marriage though, and I would like to get married).
Thank you Newbie for your insight, your message was really soothing to read but I don’t feel like I’m up for a long-term distance relationship, I want to have someone on my side on a regular basis (more than weekends only anyway !)
Sensy, funny that you are saying that because since I posted here, I got an unexpected email that somehow unlocked my situation here and really seem to push for me to go back home earlier.July 16, 2020 at 1:02 pm #796609
I told him that I was going to fly home soon because I couldn’t stand anymore being on my own all the time and not doing anything for my future, he looked hurt and didn’t say anything, he left to go in another room and didn’t talk to me much after that, just hugged me in bed. How am I supposed to talk with him if he is shutting down and leaving when I try ?July 16, 2020 at 2:06 pm #796613
You don’t give him that privilege! I remember when I told my husband of 20+ years I was leaving him. We were emotionally spent, fell asleep, and in the morning he was hugging me, the way he normally did. It felt really icky, couldn’t stand him touching me which is a feeling I had never felt with him before. I was soooo DONE at that point I threw his arm off me and said “I don’t want you hugging, touching or sleeping next to me again.” He slept on the couch, and then moved out shortly thereafter.
Do not give him any mixed signals. The underlying problems are still there, the BIG ELEPHANT is still sitting squarely in the middle of your relationship, so letting him cuddle up is not how you fix or resolve anything but only making it worse. Stick to your guns. Move to a different room or couch if you have to, and make it very clear to him that you are not happy, you’re miserable with this distant relationship, its not working for you, and will be heading home. Buy a ticket home as quickly as possible so to start the process of starting a better life for yourself, that you are obviously craving and deserve.
Yes, its going to hurt like hell, at first, as broken hearts and dreams do but you will get through it. You know, in your heart of hearts, this relationship will never make you happy so keep reminding yourself of this, as it will give you the strength and courage to take the next steps towards a happier and fulfilling life. You got this.July 16, 2020 at 2:31 pm #796618
You are dealing with two separate issues here. You are not happy and stuck because of the job and future prospects for yourself and you lack faith in his commitment. He did have it easy so far In a way that he organized all for himself including a special school over a Year from now. So you moved in and he didnt have to change anything. And even now doesnt want to make plans for you both. Thats never a good sign. I do think that in this case its best to say goodbye and go back home. There are so many uncertainties right now if you stay including his doubtfull commitment. You know this all already. I think you are a smart lady and will do what is right for you. Dragging him into conversations right now is futile. He doesnt want to, so their is your answer. Yes he is sad but he is not even willing to come see you because it doesnt fit in his plans. Take careJuly 25, 2020 at 12:07 pm #797851
Thank you Lane and Newbie for your answer, I’ve been a little bit overwhelmed by the situation the last few days but I came back often to read the thread and all the replies to give me courage.
I’m flying home in a few days. He took the news pretty well, being sad but ok. And this is where it hurts so much. He didn’t try to discuss it, or to offer to do long distance for a bit and comr visit me, or change something in his life to accomodate the relationship. He just moved on. I seem to represent so little to him.
He saw I was sad and asked me what was it about, so I asked about his feelings and he replied that he cares deeply about me because I’m awesome. That’s it. He didn’t say that he loves me, and never said it.
I feel so upset ! I told him a few months ago when I was doubting his feelings that I wanted and deserved a man that feels the same love I feel for him and to let me go if it wasn’t his case. He insisted to keep going with the relationship, but for nothing in the end. I’m really mad and sad. But relieved to not stop entertaining myself in that fantasy.July 25, 2020 at 2:08 pm #797864
Yeah its clear he wasnt all in now. It could not even be about you, but about him being unable to step from his own path. Its sad for you but you did all the right things to correct for yourself what you need to do and that timing is really spot on. Good luck to you and you will be happy again in no time im sure.