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Why don't I matter enough?


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I'm sure everyone is sick of my posts. But I just need someone to talk to right now because I feel so sad and alone, and I'm just sitting here sobbing. Why don't I matter enough? Why doesn't he care more? What's so wrong with me that he can say he loves me and still not care how I feel or how things will affect me or how much he's breaking my heart? I just wrote him a letter that I'll never give him because I don't even think it will matter. He'll just leave. And I know you all will say it would be better, or that I should leave him, but it's never that easy. I get so much sadder when people say that because it's never that easy, and they make it sound like it should be and like I'm failing because I'm not just leaving. But I love him and I want this to work, and he just won't try.

 

Dear _,

 

I am writing this letter because talking doesn't seem to help. I feel like I have no voice in this relationship. I am not heard. I am not considered. I feel disregard for my concerns, feelings, and well-being. We have been together for four years. I feel like, at this point, I should have some say in what happens, without having to fear that my words will make you leave.

 

I have concerns about living in _ - valid concerns that should be considered and discussed. Instead, I feel like you're putting 9 foot ceilings, south-facing backyards, and 3-car garages ahead of your love and consideration for me.

 

You told me that - without marriage - I have no say. No input into where you live, or where I live if I want to continue being with you. That is not fair.

 

We had one Saturday to spend together this month. You chose to spend the evening doing taxes. We have very little time together - you rarely factor me in when making decisions about how to use it.

 

I believe you love me but lately I rarely feel it - and it's causing me to pull away, to want to protect my heart because I'm no longer sure you will.

 

I have seen you only a handful of days this month. We last had sex about three weeks ago. We are intimate about twice a month lately. That is not enough.

 

It is not your job that is creating problems. I accept your job and the time it means we're apart, but I had hoped, in the time you are available, that you would seek out activities with me -- dates, fun, something to sustain our relationship. But you spend most of your time with me looking for houses online. When I speak, you seem uninterested and easily distracted. You express a desire for physical interaction but I feel emotionally alienated and have difficulty wanting to connect that way when I feel disrespected and ignored.

 

It seems like you're planning for a future without me, which makes it extremely difficult for me to consider taking a leap of faith and joining you. You say you want me there, but not enough to include me in the process - to acknowledge my concerns, to make me feel like we're in this together.

 

I just want to feel like I matter in your life...

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If this was a friend of yours writing this letter about her boyfriend, what would you tell her? If you walk out of the relationship it is not because you failed...it is because HE failed you. The thing is you can want to make it work but it won't work if he is not interested in making it work. No matter what kind of relationship a person has, be it with parents, children, siblings, friends or co-workers...if one person does not cooperate and it not interested in making it work, it just won't. Eventually the person trying needs to accept it and walk away knowing that at least they tried. I think you gave it your best shot but he is not looking out for you. If you moved to be with him he would not look out for your interests. Even if he chose to marry you eventually, he probably still would not look out for you. Marriage doesn't suddenly change a person's personality. There are plenty of marriages where one partner does not look out for the other one and does not consider their input and feelings as valid. This guy has shown you what he is about...he does not care and even if you got married to him, chances are he would not want your input anyway. I have seen marriages where the husband totally discounts the wife's opinions and makes the decisions for both of them whether she likes it or not. Your bf is selfish and self-involved...he would be like that if you moved to be with him and he would be like that even if he got married to you. He may love you, but not in any meaningful way...he does not see you as an equal.

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How much he loves you is a function of who HE is, not who YOU are. So you could be the most wonderful, perfect, beautiful woman in the world, and if he's a self centered guy who doesn't particularly bond well with others, he still wouldn't love you.

 

Imagine a set of scales in front of you. On one side are the good things you get from the relationship (that make you happy, feel fulfillled, feel good, feel content), and on the other side are all the things that make you feel terrible about the relationship. How equally balanced is it? I suspect you have very little positive in the relationship now, if he only sees you once a month and ignores you. He's just not into the relationship, and it's not that important to you.

 

If that scale is really unbalanced, with far more bad than good, it is not worth hanging onto to get that tiny bit of good or sense of security. You need to break free and demand more from someone who is interested in giving it to you, not someone who contributes so little to the relationship that is has negligible weight.

 

People treat with respect things that are important to them, and they treat with disrespect things they don't value that much. It has nothing to do with the intrinsic value of the thing (in this case you), but everything to do with how he perceives the value of that thing. Some guys just don't place another person high on their list of things that are important. They may want sex and they may someone in the background, but they basically are the equivalent of wanting you parked in the garage, and available to be driven whenever they're in the mood, but they don't think about you one second more than when they're driving you. You're an object, not a person.

 

Those relationships are devastating to the partner, and you probably need some counseling to talk about it to gather the strength you need to recognize you deserve better and should leave him.

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It would be a lot easier if it were cut & dried, but I think he does love me. Lately, I've been withdrawing and not engaging as much, and he is noticing. But instead of asking why, he keeps saying things like, "You don't love me anymore." For example, I don't always answer the phone when he calls like I did in the past (mostly because I'm tired of hearing about his house-shopping adventures). When I do answer, he'll say something like, "Why don't you want to talk to me anymore?"

 

Earlier this month, he got me this really sweet card for my birthday, and I believe he bought it because he wanted me to know how much he loves me. But this house thing... this house thing is killing us.

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The strangest part is that I see him so little now and am given so little when I do see him that I can't figure out why I'm sad at the idea of ending things. What would be different, really?

 

I think your questions are good ones. If you ended it, the title of him would no longer be there in your life at all. It's not easy to disengage. It's not fun and it's not simple. But at some point, it is freeing.

 

You are not free now. You are clinging to the hope that he will change with the instinct that nothing will alter. And therefore you are stuck in a state of perpetual sadness. You know what you need to do. Good luck to you on your decision.

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It would be a lot easier if it were cut & dried, but I think he does love me. Lately, I've been withdrawing and not engaging as much, and he is noticing. But instead of asking why, he keeps saying things like, "You don't love me anymore." For example, I don't always answer the phone when he calls like I did in the past (mostly because I'm tired of hearing about his house-shopping adventures). When I do answer, he'll say something like, "Why don't you want to talk to me anymore?"

 

Earlier this month, he got me this really sweet card for my birthday, and I believe he bought it because he wanted me to know how much he loves me. But this house thing... this house thing is killing us.

 

Be very careful about interpreting these gestures as a sign of love. Buying you a sweet card is nothing if it is not backed up by actions in the matters that REALLY count. Buying a card takes up a few seconds of his time...it is the dangling carrot to deflect from the fact that he doesn't spend time with you and doesn't include you in big plans concerning the future.

 

"You don't love me anymore."
Notice that statement is all about HIM. He is concerned that you don't love HIM. He wants to be assured of YOUR love but does not give you assurances of HIS love. Everything is all about HIM...HIS HOUSE, where HE wants to move, HIS timeframe, HIS time, HIS convenience. You really do not factor into his life except as an object to please him when he feels like it...and he will give you a sweet birthday card as a dangling carrot to keep you around. Don't fall for it...he is keeping you out of the loop and that is what really matters...not the birthday card.
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-sigh-

 

I'm reading all of your posts and taking them in. Trying to process. I just have such a hard time reconciling everything in my head right now.

 

For example, today, he was looking at houses online (again!), and he showed me one. I made some sort of generic comment and asked a couple of questions about the house. Then he said, "So do you think this is the kind of house you could live in?"

 

And I just paused and thought to myself, "Does it really matter to you whether or not it is?" But instead I just said, "I think I'll probably just stay where I am."

 

He said absolutely nothing to that.

 

I really, really think that he thinks if he can just get me down there (to his state) that I'll be happier. He has always thought he knows what I need more than I do... that if I'd just trust him, I'd be happier and things would be great. But there comes a point where I want to be able to say what I think will make me happier and have him listen, not assume that he knows better. I want to have a voice. I want to be heard.

 

And there are things he never even considers. I'd have no job. We aren't married. How would I get health insurance? How would I pay my student loans? I'm not going to be some "kept woman" who is dependent on him for everything, and he's made it clear that we're not getting married anytime soon, so what about these things? I mentioned the health insurance thing to him a few days ago, and he said, "You can be on my policy." "Um, no, I can't. We aren't married." "Oh, right. Hmm... I hadn't thought about that." No, of course, you hadn't... because you're blinded by your house-obsessed tunnel vision.

 

Ughhhh!!!

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I think this is awesome and not much more I can add to that.

 

We humans all have a certain amount of ego that doesn't like to admit maybe we are not the best person for another person, even when not being so isn't any attest to failure. It just means that other person has different wants and needs...

 

I've been in the situation of being the one clinging to all hope and being too stubborn to let go. But letting go is the best thing I could have done for me, and allowed me to finally feel peace.

 

I suggest you do the same Izzy. Aren't the tears and fears just getting really OLD about right now? At some point you will get sick of those puffy tear streaked eyes and decide to do something about it.

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