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Thread: A dying 8-year long relationship... is there any hope left?

  1. #1
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    A dying 8-year long relationship... is there any hope left?

    Hello, everyone.

    I'd like to get some advice, any kind of advice regarding my current situation. It's going to be a long story so bear with me, please.

    I am in a dying 8-year old relationship with a girl that I have come to love dearly. We met via a mutual friend in the fall of 2012, online at first, as she lives 200 km (120 miles) from my hometown in Bulgaria. Eventually after a few weeks of online chatting we met in person twice. To be honest, I wasn't that much into this girl at first since she was a little overweight at the time and had a body structure with bigger, heavier bones making her legs and arms a little chubby. I was also very polite and a bit insecure with her at first delaying any serious action such as kissing and hugging due to my upbringing and manners I had adopted from my parents. Eventually she sensed this. At the same time the guy that introduced us to one another was secretly working behind my back to steal her from me. Being a bit shy and polite and this "friend" of mine being too aggressive, she decided to dump me and go with him. And she did. I was hurt and mad at first but I let her go.

    About a month later I got a phone call from her. She tried to apologize for her actions and as she said she just wanted to have contact with me again. Later I found out that this "friend" of mine had just used her for sex and then dumped her and in a way she wanted a second chance. I gave it to her. After 6 months of mending our relationship (or should I say starting anew since to me two dates aren't really a relationship) and dating in person in the summer of 2013 I moved into her apartment (owned by her mom who does not live there) in her hometown to see if we can get to the next level.

    What followed could be summed up to this: in the following 7 years we had a lot of happy moments but we also gathered a lot of garbage in our relationship. Here's some of it:

    1. Every year or two I was "reminded" that I lived in their apartment - making me feel bad and unwanted in the first place.
    2. I discovered my girlfriend did not know how to cook, wash, iron clothes and overall maintain an apartment. I pretty much took these activities onto me trying to teach her how to do them. I also maintained her car and I even taught her how to drive (since driving lessons here are hardly enough for anyone to become a real driver).
    3. Her mom was pretty much the 3rd person in our relationship. This girl does not have a father or any siblings so she's very close to her mom. But the problem is that she shares nearly everything that happens in our lives with her mom, something that I am not very happy with.
    4. I struggled to maintain employment - here in Bulgaria it is hard to start a new job because most companies have very high requirements, and once you start it is very easy to lose your job due to various reasons - management decisions to lay off people, working with incompetent/selfish/stupid bosses and colleagues, economic crises, government policies towards private companies, etc. I am not saying I am not responsible somewhat for my unemployment issues but I work a year, a year and a half and say for 6 months after that I am unemployed again. To counter this I finished a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science and a ton of programming courses, studying mostly at night - programmers are in high demand here and salaries are really, really good. The thing is it takes a lot of time (years in my case) and effort to become an IT specialist - but I am almost there. My girlfriend, on the other hand, has had a stable job working for a German company for years, where they treat people like human beings, and not slaves, so she does not know what unemployment really is. Her mom also makes really good money being a teacher in demand both at school and at home. Unfortunately at the moment I am again unemployed due to the COVID-19 crisis and some other reasons.
    5. Her mom started to hate me. At first she accepted me somewhat but with time she turned against me for reasons unknown and I suspect she talks against me regularly to my girlfriend. My girlfriend on the other hand did nothing in years to protect me and explain to her mom that I wasn’t a bad person.
    6. I was almost constantly under suspicion of being a cheat, of having a child somewhere else, of being manipulative, of having a wife or another female lover, etc. I guess all this was due to her mom’s experience of going through a really bad divorce some decades ago. Of course none of this has ever been true at all. On several occasions her mother even talked to me to see what kind of person I was and what we would do with our lives but no matter how honest I was and how much I meant well for all of us, she never came to trust me.
    7. Last year my girlfriend wanted a child from me so a few times we had sex with the intent for her to get pregnant. Nothing came out of it but it added some more pressure on her side. This is how far we got into our relationship – to try to have a child together.
    8. All these experiences turned me into a bitter person. I did not have a steady job, I did not have enough money to buy a new (my own) apartment since apartments here are ridiculously expensive, I was a person they did not trust, and despite meaning all the best for both of them I felt misunderstood and not a valued person. All this resulted in fights with my girlfriend and she cried a lot during them. I must admit I wasn’t always right but this pressure inside my soul was too much sometimes. As a result I was feeling bad for prolonged periods of time – and not being able to provide for a family was slowly ruining me as a man.

    But we always came to terms with my girlfriend until the fateful June 30, 2020.

    That day my girlfriend asked me to pick her mom and drive her to the nearby beach so that she can have some summer fun. A few weeks earlier her mom had said she wanted to buy a car so while driving I was telling her what car maintenance expenses were waiting for her. I wanted her to know what would cost her to own a car as she had never had one before. Her mom, however, got mad at me thinking I was dissuading her from buying a car and told me that I had achieved nothing in life, that I had wasted 8 years of her daughter’s life, that I had had bad thoughts about them, meaning to cause them harm, that I had never been fully devoted to this relationship and ultimately that I was using them. None of this has ever been true – but this was it – I packed my most essential belongings and drove back home leaving both women behind me.

    For the first 10 days my girlfriend cried on the phone trying to get me back but I was so hurt, disappointed and furious I did not want to listen to her. I told her that her mom couldn’t be the 3rd person in our relationship, that she couldn’t talk to me like that, that I had done nothing to deserve any of this, that I needed some time to swallow the situation and that she had done nothing to protect me from her mom’s attitude in years. I also told her we weren’t splitting.

    Then my girlfriend disappeared – I would call her or text her and she would respond but she would never call me or text me first. Then I decided not to call her or text her to see where all this was going and to give both of us some time. In August we hardly had any contact except for one phone call where I explained my actions to her once again. On August 26 I had a job interview in her hometown and I met her to pick some of my stuff from her apartment. She did not want to talk about the situation and she did not want me to stay there – letting me leave at 10:30 PM and drive home 200 km (120 miles). Eventually she wanted to have a long conversation with me so that we can straighten things out and maybe get together again. We did have this conversation on September 6 but nothing came out of it – I told her that I had always had good intentions, how I plan to go on with our lives (and my life) – to find a job as a programmer, buy a new home, have children, lose weight, become a happier/better person, etc. I just wanted her to realize we needed more space from her mom and that she would need to learn how to do house chores (which she mostly did while I was gone). But we did not reach any real decision as to how we would proceed with our relationship and I sensed again distrust in my girlfriend.

    Since then she has kept her distance, not texting me or calling me again despite my phone calls and texts to see how she’s doing. I confronted her on the phone on Saturday but she said she needed more time to get to feel better and to think about our future and she asked me for one more week before we talk again.

    Now I see where all this is going – to the end of it all – but I do not want to be a sitting duck. Do you think it would be a good idea to call her one last time and tell her I am done with our relationship? Or should I wait and see what happens with the faint hope that all will be well once again and then try to fix my relations with her mom? I kind of know what will happen – she’ll call me on Saturday/Sunday saying she can’t be in this relationship anymore, ask me to come and pick my stuff and leave me heartbroken once again.

    The really dumb thing is that in my opinion we can fix what we don’t like in our relationship and move on but she prefers to dump me over her mom and her judgment now when everything we have wanted in one another has started falling in place. Some of you would say this was a toxic relationship from the start and that I should have left her a long time ago – but I love her. Moreover the situation in Bulgaria is critical when it comes to young people as millions have emigrated to North America and Western Europe and it is really hard to meet someone nowadays due to socioeconomic reasons mostly.

    I am 40 years old now and she is 31 if this is of any importance.

    Thank you everyone who had the desire and will to read all this but I wanted to be as specific as possible.

    Any advice is more than welcome. Getting Ready for a First Date

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    No, don't do anything right now. After a break up we all go through a little withdrawal. It feels terrible and painful but you will have to go through it. There's no other way around it - just go through it and wait for the panic and emotions to pass. This is a process. And yes, these initial shaky, horrible feelings will pass.

    The relationship between her and her mother is tied. This is a package deal and the both of them have been depending on each other it appears for a long time. Nothing is going to change by getting back together or letting your ego get the better of you. That's your hurt and your sadness wanting to lash out and be proactive in an outcome that you can't change. Spend your energy elsewhere and keep working on yourself. At the end of every unhealthy relationship there's the danger that individuals turn themselves inside out looking too far outwards trying to change or adjust the situation no matter how unhealthy it is. Treat this relationship as a chapter that is over in your life and don't make any more moves.

    I know what you're feeling - no one will love you, you're 40, the young people have left, you'll be alone forever. Don't let these negative thoughts prevent you from creating a better life for yourself. If you want to stay in your country, start working on your career and find another position where you can gain the experience as an IT specialist. Research better companies so you can get your foot in the door. Look into freelancing or working independently as a consultant if that's possible. What can you do to create something out of nothing but your skills and current experience?

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    Rose Mosse, thank you for your response.

    I know you are probably right that I should not do anything right now. But the big problem is that I will have to do something soon. Basically there are 2 scenarios and both do not work for me:

    1. I call her and I tell her everything is over - thus killing ANY chance of us fixing things and getting back together (and the hope inside is driving me nuts). Moreover this action of mine will likely be driven, like you said, by my ego and emotions, rather than sound thinking. And there's a chance I will later deeply regret my phone call, the additional harm I have done to our relationship (or what's left of it) and the pain I have inflicted on her by telling her it is all over.

    Or maybe at this point in time she'll realize her loss and try to fix things. I do not know.

    2. I do nothing - thus giving her the perfect chance to shoot the sitting duck (me) this coming weekend, break my heart once again, humiliate me by telling me to come get my stuff, block me on Facebook, Viber, etc. You get the point. And of course I'll keep on driving myself insane with (false) hopes that she'll call and mend the situation saying I was right, we should get back together etc. I don't think this is going to happen given the current circumstances. And I will have to meet her (and likely her mother) once again to pick what's left of my stuff in her apartment.

    The worst part is it all happened because of her mother. Our relationship had steadily improved this past spring to the point we thought a split was impossible. This is what I do not get - how can you dump someone because of your mother and her wrong opinion? Hasn't she seen my good qualities and traits during all these years? Or it seems they are not enough for her now.

    Still, there's something that I missed a while ago - she has some (serious) gynecological issues and she's visiting a famous gyno professor next week looking for a solution. She asked me if I would come with her and I said yes. She desperately wants a child and if I am not there to be the father, I don't know how much time she'll need before she meets someone else willing to be the father of her kids. Unless she has met someone already... So she may call me and try to fix things. I don't know.

    And ultimately the best solution would be to get back together and move away from her mom, like to another distant city. It is not impossible... but I now think that my raging hurt feelings are drawing pictures of a future that is next to impossible.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I'm really sorry. I'm feeling that pain and the struggle from your words. Both options you listed 1 and 2 are about you and you alone. Go back and reread them if possible. It's about you being afraid of loss, worried that someone else will hurt you. Keep trusting in yourself and believe that you're better than this unhealthy relationship.

    Leave out that sense of victimization or blaming her mother. It's normal to feel your reality completely shift and warp in a break up, to lose parts of yourself and not recognize things clearly. It's not going to help if you keep blaming other people for the relationship not working. All it does is shift that blame and rob you of your own accountability and ability to take charge of the situation and turn it around. That very thing that you abhor so much (her mother and her relationship with her parent) is controlling you so let it go. What she is and what her daughter is are out of your power to control. We cannot control others - just accept and understand what's within your means to work with and live with.

    The dream about whisking this person away from the only family she's known isn't realistic and I think you understand that also. When you're with someone, you're also with their family. You wouldn't want someone to exclude you as family. Why would you want to do this to someone else? The person who suffers most is your girlfriend being torn between her mother and her partner. Would you want that for someone you love or care about? That choice is hers, not yours and even if a person were to choose you over their family, think twice. That burden remains on you to shoulder any blow back or resentments caused in the process later on down the line.

    This relationship is over. Give yourself time to accept this and even if she does want to rekindle anything with you, the cracks have been made between the both of you. Think twice or think very carefully if this is a situation that benefits you in the long run. Would you be happier with someone who can live up to your thoughts, ideas, ideals and other asks? Rebuild your sense of self and go back to your work and focus on things that improve your self-esteem. This isn't a loss but a gain. You can regain more valuable parts of yourself in this that you've already lost. I think you're feeling very low right now and all this is normal. Make good decisions going forward and let go of unhealthy situations that don't work for you. Don't self-destruct.

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  6. #5
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    There is nothing to fix here. Her mom does not like you. You were not attracted to her at all in the beginning. You are way too old for this - to live in someone's mother's apartment, etc. I really thought you were in your early 20s. You also have a very cynical outlook (listing all the ways people get fired right away. ) I would not contact her again and figure out your career and life before dating again

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    I am not clear why you were out of work for so much of the relationship? What percentage of the time were you out of work? I think that your response of fleeing, was terrible.

    On her side, she should not have been sharing with the mother. She should have been more responsible within the home, she sounds like a child.

    This relationship was dysfunctional for many reasons. I think that you should consider it over .

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Hopefully you are safely back home out of her house away from her and her family and have gathered your belongings. It just wasn't working out living with her family, being unemployed, etc.

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    Thank you everyone for your opinions.

    I am sorry if I sound broken, cynical, bitter but I am very emotional at the moment and there's this huge storm inside my soul that will not end for a long time. I never meant to be selfish in the first place. As always I tried to just be a good person here with some sound thinking but as you can probably imagine I am going through the toughest time in my life so far. After all this was an 8-year long relationship and I invested in it so much, I thought I had it all despite certain problems - we even thought of getting married and having a child. Now I feel if something inside me has died, especially after everything happened so suddenly.

    You are way too old for this - to live in someone's mother's apartment, etc.
    It's how it happened and I moved to her hometown and apartment because she asked me to. You will probably not understand and I do not want to whine but here a decent apartment costs your ENTIRE income for 20-30 years and this is A LOT of money. For most people it is next to impossible to buy a house/apartment here. If I had the chance I would have bought a house/apartment but given the situation now I can't.

    I am not clear why you were out of work for so much of the relationship? What percentage of the time were you out of work?
    I don't know, maybe 1/2 of the time. I am not a saint and I have perhaps made many mistakes but as a whole I am a hard working individual who can be responsible, honest and just a good worker. Not a whole lot of companies here value such people, however. I do not want to boast but I have three Bachelor's degrees and one Master's, I studied in the USA, finishing a university there while working to pay my tuition and I am fluent in English, despite English not being my native language. That should speak somewhat that I am not just another slacker with no goals in life. But it is hard for educated people here to find and keep a good job, trust me on this one. That's why I decided to become a programmer - to earn more money, have a more stable job and tons of opportunities after that. And I almost made it. I'll be there until the end of the year.

    I think that your response of fleeing, was terrible.
    I did not know what else to do, this wasn't the first time her mom brought me down but was by far the worst. How can you tell someone that they and their life is worthless? And this comes from a person who has known me for years. I am not a 20-year old kid who has no idea about life.

    Deep inside me I know it is all over but I am having a really difficult time accepting it. I know that not every decision I made in this situation was the right one and I wish I had the power to turn back time and be wiser. But I can't. And I regret all of this so much but there's nothing else to do but accept it. And it just... hurts so much.

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    The degrees mean nothing, if you are not contributing financially- no offense, but you sound like a professional student . I don't think she signed up to support you. This would not be an option for me. I am no one's parent.

    Her mother said that to you, not her. Your reaction was inexcusable.

    I think that you both have a lot of growing up to do. Separately.

  11. #10
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    I am sorry you are going through such anguish and pain.

    I am not trying to make light of your situation but why on earth would you be willing to subject yourself to more of this emotional abuse and disrespect ? Haven't you had enough? I understand that you love her but do you really want to be this miserable for the rest of your life? Seriously? She lives with her mother; they are a package deal. That's certainly not a good way to start/continue a relationship, especially since she doesn't defend you. And, she confides things about you and the relationship to her mother???? Not a good idea, sektor.

    I know it hurts so much (been there, trust me) but you need to get your things, and go on with your life -- without her. Time will heal your wounds. We've all been through some kind of hurt in our relationships but we move on, if it's not working. You know in your heart that this relationship is clearly not working, right? Focus on yourself, get your work life together, get your degree. Do yourself a favour and do your best to move on. Baby steps...and you will get there.

    Just so you know, I am moving on from the demise of a 29 year marriage. Trust me, I feel so much better now. Of course, there are lonely days at times but I focus on all the good things in my life, rather than dwell on the bad.

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