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Thread: I'm totally lost - please help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    I'm totally lost - please help!

    I feel like this may be the last time that I will, or can, ask for advice about my relationship. I've really gotten to a point that I just don't know how to deal anymore, I don't even know if it's me or him causing the major problems, and I don't know what to say or how to say it to make things better. All I know is, even after two not-so-smooth years, I still love him completely, am attracted to him, and can't imagine life without him.

    I'm going to make this as short as possible, even though I could probably go on and on forever. I want to thank everyone who takes the time to read this, and know that any help is appreciated and will be considered.

    My long-term boyfriend and I have met many obstacles during our relationship. We are both in our mid-twenties and have lived together for about a year. I'm a student and he is in the beginning of what will probably be a very sucessful career. In the past year, he's been under an incredible amount of stress, and has worked almost every day with only a 2 weeks off (in December and July). Otherwise, he would usually be working 7 days a week. Things have gotten a bit better in that area, he has a bit more time for himself.

    A couple of months ago, we went through a really hard time. He even became very emotionally/ verbally abusive and would ignore me for days at a time. We got past that, but I do find it difficult to forget the pain I felt during those situations, and sometimes worry that the same behaviour will resurface. Sometimes, it does, but not to the extent it did two months ago.

    My main issue is the nature of our arugments. He has a tendency to be extremely hurtful, and I've told him this. He seems to find a way to justify it by saying something like, "well YOU do this", and so forth. I know that I am not innocent, the truth is that I probably do things to anger him, but the way he is with me when we argue is literally heartbreaking. He'll say things like, "I'd rather work 24 hours a day than be here with you feeling like crap". I've stuck with him through the most stressful time of his life, understood every mood and tried to be 100% supportive. I know how busy and stressed he is, so I cook the meals, do the grocery shopping, make sure the place is neat and clean, and always listen to him when he gets home. He doesn't seem to understand that I do this FOR HIM, nor does he even seem to care or appreciate it.

    Sometimes when we argue, I get upset. I can't help it, even though I really wish I could. When I do, he never tries to calm down or comfort me. Whenever he's cried (which has only been a couple of times), I've not left his side - even if I've been really mad at him. Sometimes when I get upset, he seems to feed off of it. He even smirks sometimes, and when I ask him how he could smile, he denies it (like I can't see it on his face?). Sometimes I worry that he likes to see me cry because he feels he has more control over me that way. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. I honestly don't even know anymore. He just seems to get colder and more harsh when he sees that I'm hurt. Even though I've explained this to him, it doesn't change. The most of the time, we'll just retreat to separate corners until we can't stay mad anymore, and pretend it never happened, even though I can still feel it, still hear the harsh words spoken, and remember how terrible I felt. Sometimes he's so cold that it seems like he doesn't care at all about my feelings, or even me in general.

    He'll tell me that it's "okay" to be friends with this one guy I know, but makes constant sarcastic remarks about him and seems to resent the fact that he calls (which has been twice ever), or that I see him at all (the guy lives with his girlfriend, I used to work with him and we have always had a strictly friendly relationship, I want nothing more than that and never have!). Why tell me it's "okay", then make me pay for it when I communicate with the guy? He says that I'm the one who is jealous and insecure because he took off the other day for like two hours, when he got home I asked where he went and he said "I went for a drive". Later on he said that he went to meet a former male classmate. Why not just say that in the first place then? It seems to be perfectly fine for my boyfriend to act jealous and suspicious of NOTHING (he's met the guy and has even been invited to BBQs at his house), but if I ask, let's just say that it's not terribly well-received.

    Then, I think back to everything good about him. He was there for me when I needed to move out of an unsafe apartment 2 years ago, helped me move the whole apartment (this was when we were only first dating too), he stuck by me through some financial difficulties and helped me with debts, and is the only guy I've ever truly loved. How can a person be so helpful and good in one way, but change into something I want to run and hide from when we get into an argument? How can a person go from being someone you love and trust, to being a dismissive, scary jerk?

    I really need some help. I've never been so lost or confused in my entire life. We've already done "the break", and it helped for a while. I want to just talk openly about this with him, but I'm afraid of another brawl. I haven't been sleeping well or eating properly for the past week, and he knows that something is wrong. He asks, and I want to talk to him, but the words won't come out. Last night I couldn't sleep and neither could he, and he kept rolling over and hugging me really tight, like he just knows that I'm contemplating him and what we have altogether. He tells me that "he's worried" about me because I'm distant, he seems genuine and wants me to just "be happy" and resolve things, but I don't know if I can this time. Has anyone ever just gotten to a point where you hurt too much to go back? I really want to resolve things, but when I try to speak, I can't even think of where to start or what to say. I'm worried that I may be at that point.

  2. #2
    Silver Member SilverManic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    You really need to talk about this with him if you want to stay with him. Next time he says 'I'm worried', 'Whats wrong?' say that you would like to talk to him with out raised voices in a civilized mannor and you would like to resolve things with him. Tell him you understand that he has stress at work and to tell you the truth when you are under such stress from work it does effect your personality in a huge way.
    He's working to much and it's effecting your relationship together. A surgestion would be try to resolve the problem and take a holiday where you can spend some quality time together to smooth over the lumps that have been caused.
    Good Luck and if you need any more advice or a shoulder to cry on don't hesitate to pm me.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member RayKay's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Middle of Canada
    Wow, a couple years ago, this could of been me writing what you just wrote!

    My ex was very similar in a lot of ways to how you described your boyfriend. He could be terribly sweet, and a great support, but he was also terribly cruel when we disagreed at times, turning blame around on me so I was the one in tears and feeling at fault (even if not). It is normal to get upset when you are in conflict, but if he uses that against you, that is unfair and just cruel. You are correct, and not reading too deep - for him it may indeed make him feel in control. I know for my ex that was the issue - his last girlfriend before me had hurt him VERY badly, and for him he almost wanted to do to me what she did to him, and he became stubborn against accepting blame. He hated to admit to being wrong, and it was almost a victory if he could make ME take the blame (even if it meant me apologizing for being so upset or "overreacting" at some idiotic cruel thing he did to me!).

    I did not see it when I was with him, I do now since I have moved on, and am with someone whom treats me with respect and love 100% of the time. Even in conflict, it is not a matter of hurting the other person, we do both hurt, but only as we hate seeing each other hurting! I know what I had in the past now is NOT normal, not healthy, and was NOT right for me in any shape or form.

    I am still friends with that ex, and hope thought that he has learned from the past for the future. We never talked about it since the breakup, sometimes I wonder if I should, for his future.

    I know you love your boyfriend, and you also live together which adds more complications and depth of feeling for most. I think that you two do need to address this issue NOW, and if you are both equally committed work on it together, and it will most likely require individual and couples counselling. Would he be receptive to that?

    I think since the "words won't come out" you should write a letter, say much of what you said here, and reassure him you love him, but are hurting. It does seem he does care about you, and does love you, however there are some major breakdowns when it comes to communication, and conflict resolution for whatever reason which is hurting you both. Maybe this will open the door for help for the both of you to find solutions, or maybe it will lead to a decision to go your separate ways, but sweetie, things cannot stay "as they are" - it is not healthy and will break you down little by little over time, it will take away your confidence and your self esteem. A change must occur and I hope the best for BOTH of you.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Also try to look at the situation from his side. When I was little, I learned a little poem from my grandmother, saying (it was not in English so I am trying to translate):

    Only there can love live
    Only there is life sweet
    Where quietly and unforced
    One does everything for one another

    I have not thought about it in a really long while, but your post reminded me of it.

    I know how busy and stressed he is, so I cook the meals, do the grocery shopping, make sure the place is neat and clean, and always listen to him when he gets home. He doesn't seem to understand that I do this FOR HIM, nor does he even seem to care or appreciate it.
    Are you sure that you are doing it unselfishly for him, or do you expect something in return? Have you ever considered all the things he is doing quietly for you? Why is he working so hard? Maybe it is because he wants to become a good provider for his family, in other words, for you.

    Of course if you are feeling unhappy, you need to talk about it and work out a solution. All I am saying is, when you do talk with him, consider his perspective too! And, if you really want to make it work, be prepared to adjust a bit too. Maybe you can learn to have a bit more of an elephant skin so he can act out some of his stress on you without you taking it so badly. Don't expect him to do all the changes.

    Hm... this reminds me of another wisdom an ex bf of mine told me: "It is very typical for a woman to meet a man and try to change him into the man she wants him to be. When she finally succeeds, she realizes that he is no longer the man she fell in love with."


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