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He doesn't listen or respect me


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You guys helped me[25] a lot when I was split up with my boyfriend[31], but I ended up going back to him in the end... I know it's easy to judge and be like "WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!" but as we all know love is a very complicated thing, and it's hard to just make a clean break. But we've been back together for maybe 3 months now. The first two months were honey moon and now I feel like things are settling back down into reality. I guess my problem is that he doesn't seem to give a crap about me or what I have to say. He's constantly scrolling on his phone or tablet, constantly, and he openly yawns when I talk. Sometimes he starts yawning and I just kind of stop mid sentence and he doesn't even notice. The other day he asked me if I was OK because he's noticed me being depressed, but as I started to open up to him about being lonely and ignored, he turned a video on the TV. It just hurts and it feeds into my insecurities about not being important enough, like I don't DESERVE to be heard. Sometimes I say weird things just to see if he's paying attention and he doesn't react to it because no, he isn't listening to me.


He also has this problem with thinking he's superior to me. He works at a big box tech company making websites for "name brands" all day, and yes that's amazing and totally tech savvy, but he thinks that if you don't know how to do these tech things that you're some sort of idiot. He constantly talks about his job as if I'm a co-worker, like I can understand what it means when he has to "reboot the magento server" or whatever. All of his friends are co-workers and when they get together that's all they talk about is work related things, leaving me sitting there awkwardly without anything to say. They never seem to take my word for anything, either. If I happen to actually know something for once and share it with them, it's met with suspicion and scrutiny, like they have to check Wikipedia first before they believe me. Or if they see me playing a game they're somehow the expert on it and explain it to me like it's my first time playing, when most of the time I know more about the game than they do. But of course, because I AM a better player at most games, they refuse to play with me, in case they lost and broke their fragile male ego or something. Just as an example of how they treat me. I won't even get into the whole house cleaning situation, where I'm expected to keep the household spotless and clean up after my bf and all of his friends. They trash things up for me faster than I can clean them. He's kind of got me over a barrel too in the sense that he's paying for me to live here and I don't have a paying job right now. When I came back it was decided that I would take care of the house and have time to develop my portfolio. I work on my art every day while he is at work- most days I try to match him in the amount of hours I spend working on it if I can help it, but a lot of the time in my day is dedicated to cleaning up HIS filthy messes. It's one thing to clean the house, it's another thing to have to follow him around like a child and pick up every wrapper or used cup or plate after he's done... he thinks that because I'm working on cleaning that it absolves him from throwing away trash or scraping his plate after dinner.


It comes down to respect- he doesn't seem to have any for me.


I guess I just need advice on how to take some power back here. I feel like I'm sub human right now, like a lesser being. I just want to be an equal, I want to feel like what I say matters and is being heard. Should I go back to therapy? Is it MY hang up here? How do I get him to listen to me or value what I say? I just don't know how to react to this situation. My heart wants to run but I don't have anywhere to go. He's kind of got me over a barrel in the sense that he's paying for me to live here and I don't have a paying job right now. When I came back it was decided that I would take care of the house and have time to develop my portfolio. I work on my art every day while he is at work- most days I try to match him in the amount of hours I spend working. It is not a hobby for me, I am trying to treat it like a full time job. If I were to say one positive thing about my bf its that I AM grateful for that opportunity, I just wish the terms were a little bit more even if that makes sense. Just because I'm not working at an hourly paying job doesn't mean I'm not contributing. See how I have to explain myself now? Just like when we get into arguments and he says I don't do anything. The other day during an argument he commented that I was "pissing my day away." Later on when I called him on it he tried to change his wording and saying that because we were "Fighting" that I was pissing my day away. Right.


I guess I'm just looking for outside opinions that isn't my one friend or my mom. He isn't a bad person, but this is his first serious relationship, and I don't think he knows really what to do, so it's been really hard. He claims to respect me and love me but it's hard to believe when all of this stuff is swirling around us. I'm just not feeling it. Leaving really doesn't feel like the best option for me either because I don't have any money saved up right now and I would be moving back in with my parents. Wow, just typing that makes me feel like a loser. Shoot...


Thank you for taking the time to read all that. You guys give amazing advice here.

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Regarding how he behaves and treats you overall, please stop making excuses for him and face reality - this is who he is. You don't need relationship experience to know to treat your SO like a human being. Bear in mind also, that his friends being equally nasty.....it's an even stronger reflection that this is who he is and therefore those are the people he chooses to hang out with. They are alike. In short, he is not going to change and your relationship with him is not going change or get better....ever.


Regarding the living arrangement....well..... Unfortunately you have no leg to stand on about complaining that he doesn't lift a finger to help you. You ARE trading domestic service for a roof over your head and food on the table. That is the deal you've agreed on and you have no right to demand that he comes home after work and still helps you out with your job - cleaning, taking out trash, etc. That is your job and that is your part of the deal.


Personally, I think that you are in a toxic situation, you should move back in with your parents and do whatever it takes to get a job. If you are putting in that much work in your portfolio, you have enough to show for yourself. Time to get to applying for jobs. Talk to recruiters, temp agencies, employers, go network, post your stuff on various job boards. Do whatever it takes. Consider also that you may have to take on any kind of a day job temporarily so you have an income coming in and can save up money so you can move out of your parent's, have your own place, etc. Once you do all that, then maybe you will have time to consider relationships again. At least you will be in a position to seek out a good guy and an equal relationship rather than being some jerk's dependent. It's really hard to talk about respect when you can't pay your bills and need to be supported like a child. Sorry if this is harsh, but this is the situation you need to be focused on correcting. You don't need therapy, you don't need to be worrying about boyfriends. You need to be putting 100% into becoming financially independent, aka being able to pay your own rent and live on your own. This situation you are in is draining you emotionally and is actually getting in your way of accomplishing what you need to.

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You gave up your last remnants of power when you took him back, so I don't think there is any way to regain it at this point.

I agree, you should go back to therapy. I know love can make us do stupid things, but it comes a time when you need to say "stop" or else you risk drowning yourself in such a deep depression you won't be able to come out of anytime soon.

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You're too dependent on him and he is taking advantage of that. He expects you to clean because you have taken on a 'house-wife' role, working from home and building a portfolio for your art, and living in the flat, so he naturally seems to expect for you to be taking care of the flat too. To an extent the idea of this is OK, and a fair arrangement, but by him leaving things around, not throwing wrappers away etc., just sounds as if he's taken it too far, and things aren't equal anymore. The good thing about your post is that you seem to have figured it all out and realised that he isn't acting right.


How does he feel about your artwork and your progress? Is he taking your art career and portfolio building as seriously as you are?


I ask this because I am also an artist (though I do have a full time job as well that I am not passionate about- its just for a regular income) and I could never be with a guy who doesn't take my art and career aspirations as seriously as I do. That has been probably the highest on my list in terms of deal breakers.


If you cannot communicate to him all of these problems, I mean if it doesn't then it seems like things aren't going to get better. I would seriously consider a part-time job or fulltime one that isn't too demanding, or moving back with parents if you can, anything, you have plenty of options you just need to create opportunities for yourself because you do not sound happy at all right now.


You can do this! Believe in yourself.

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Sorry, but I gotta echo DF's harsher advice.


You don't have a job (since July now, if I remember right?), you complain about cleaning, and you're apparently really good at video games. I've got a feeling you'd have a hard time getting sympathy around here were you a guy and he a woman. As it stands, you get financially supported to be able to spend 8 hours working on your art every day. I know plenty of artists around here who would gladly put it up with someone yawning when they talk for that benefit. You should be spending the 8 hours cleaning and looking for paying work, not art work. On top of being a dependent, didn't you lose him $100 a few months back going to shady websites? Personally, I'd have kicked you out rather than letting any of this boil down to what it has, but that's me.


If you want respect, you need to conduct yourself in a way that commands it. You're not being taken seriously, and frankly, I can't blame the people who don't.

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Unfortunately it sounds like you spend too much time together just hanging around ignoring each other. Why be present when he and is friends are going on about shop talk?


It sounds like you are wasting a lot of time competing with him and them. Why not pursue your own interests with your own friends who speak your language?


Not working and living with him, letting him support you may put you in the position of homemaker, but that's your choice.


Get a paying job in the meantime to improve your self esteem and independence and work on your art in the evening when he is chatting with his coworkers. He obviously resents your not working.

All of his friends are co-workers and when they get together that's all they talk about is work related things, leaving me sitting there awkwardly without anything to say.He's kind of got me over a barrel too in the sense that he's paying for me to live here and I don't have a paying job right now. I guess I just need advice on how to take some power back here.The other day during an argument he commented that I was "pissing my day away."
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The problem is neither of you have changed anything. You both just went through the same it's all hearts and roses in the beginning then as soon as the new wears off the same old, same old is back.


What Wiseman said though. You want some power and control? Go get a life not centered exclusively and only around having to have a partner just to say you have a partner. I'm sorry, but what you describe is not love on either of your parts. It's a really unhealthy, "This relationship must complete all parts of me." And that is actually not his job. And his is, "I get a mom I can sleep with once in awhile in exchange for me paying everything," which renders a partner about as unsexy as it gets.


Do what Wiseman suggests. Go back to work, get friends, get activities, stop waiting around for this guy to "complete you." (I hate that movie and that phrase with a passion, it has done so much damage to so many people thinking that's the way love should be.)


Nope, you want power - go get a life not centered around this guy and then you'll have the attitude of, "Well, if you want to be a part of my happy, fulfilling life you need to get in line and IF you treat me right, you just might get a spot at the table. And if you don't, there's the door, because there are plenty of things, people and activities I'm already enjoying who enjoy me back, so I don't need your crap. Ya feel me?"


Also as someone who has been there, who expected someone else to make her happy and be her entertainment center all rolled into one once upon a time many, many moons ago, I am telling you from the heart: a) no one on here or anywhere in the known universe is going to tell you how to make this guy do a 360-personality change. Can't be done. And b) reading about how you simply expect him to be there for you 24/7 while you sit at home all day doing cleaning and playing at working on your art--and I say playing, because serious artists do not have time to sit around feeling sorry for themselves, hell they barely have time for relationships since I'm married to an artist who makes a very good living at what he does--is a huge part of the problem.


If you want real power go get a job, move out of his house and get your own, have a life not centered exclusively around him. He will either have to compete with the rest of the world for your attention and gain some respect for you or he won't. And you will be all right either way, because you'll then understand there is a whole world not centered around being his maid. And he won't have to support a dependent that is an adult woman. And yeah, I"m going to be harsh there. This isn't 1940, you need to be an equal in all ways if you expect a partner to treat you like an equal.

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I think from reading just this post that this relationship sounds to be dead and buried.

If your mom would be kind enough to take you in, I think you should do that. You can focus on rebuilding yourself emotionally and getting your independence back. Start working again, get used to paying rent and bills and having to consider how YOU- not someone else- is going to make that happen but also balance your other wants and priorities with that.

Christmas season is coming so you could find temporary work for a cash and esteem boost quite easily , as a step in that direction.


I think it's a poor choice to stay with someone because their money allows you comfort. That's not about love either. And yes, you'll eat some humble pie going home, but it's honestly better than this.

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You take back your power by refusing to be treated as "subhuman."


That means you walk away from people who do so.


Definitely go back to therapy, and figure out why you're willing to allow someone to treat you this way...and why you think they are the problem, rather than your own sense of self worth being at issue.

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