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Need unbiased advice on my relationship.


lexdelaney
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So I'll start with a summary of my boyfriend and I's history. We met in January 2017 on a cruise, we are both from different states. We would hang out for weekends together and were on again/off again for a few months but have been "officially" together since July 2017. In November 2017, I moved to his hometown and stayed there up until about a week ago (5 months). He has a few different jobs, two of which involve traveling long term. Right now, he is on a trip with one company for two months, will be home for two weeks, and then goes with the other job for another two months. In September/October of last year he took one of these two month trips and it really took a toll on me/us. He is distant and unavailable when he is there and very insensitive to the toll it takes on my mental health. He says that he will choose these trips over me because they benefit his personal growth, which I understand, it's not like we're married and are both young (I am 20 and he is 25). When we are together, everything is literally like a dream. It's perfect and we rarely argue, and when we do it's never a scream match. It's always the two of us having a discussion and if there is too much anger or frustration we can step away and come back with a level head. Regardless, he knows how far over the edge the previous trip with his job took me and that's why we made the decision to close the distance and have me move there. I sold my car, gave up dominance in my home (I'm a student and lived with family), quit my job, and went there for the sake of our relationship. Now that he is doing the same job again, I feel as though he doesn't care at all about me or my well being. This feeling is especially strong because of the fact that he's going on another long term trip two weeks after this one finishes. We have argued almost every single day since we've been apart which is not like us. At times like this it's hard to remember all of the good between us because I feel disrespected and as though he doesn't care. These jobs show little to now growth opportunity and I feel as though he does them just to get away from home and run from his issues. We've even talked about this when we lived together and he agreed! I don't want to talk to him and feel as though all of this will not be worth it. My close friends and family are looking out for me and that's why I'm posting here, as I want unbiased advice. I'm mature enough to recognize that he should take these opportunities in terms of personal growth, I would never tell him no. However, I feel his character gets called into question when he can see just how bad it gets for me and still go on and do it despite that. It feels like he is stringing me along in a way. We both love each other very much and I feel like that is why we're holding on. It just seems to me that I am not equipped to live a lifestyle like the one he wants to embark on. It just seems silly to give up because of how great things are when we're together and how much we've already persevered through. He is not willing to compromise and say no to being gone 6 months out of the year. Let me mention, he has other work options that are better paying (seriously, really well paying, too) and close to home! He has so many choices and seems to lunge at the ones that put me through tough times. Am I being selfish, or is he? I would love to hear what everyone has to say. Feel free to ask questions if you have any. Thanks in advance.

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Well... you are being selfish but I can understand why, you made a huge commitment really early in the relationship, that is setting yourself up for insecuirty. Why can you not emotionally handle being alone for two months? Why does being alone cause your mental health to deteriorate? You've been together for less than a year. Why is your life so wrapped around him that you can no longer handle two months of time?

 

He wants to travel like this. He is clear that he is going to choose it. Your insecurities are your issues to take care of. Asking him to give up something that matters deeply to him because you are insecure is selfish. It's asking him to limit himself because of your issues.

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Well, this situation is awful, and you're only 20? You should be out having fun, dating lots of boys, and enjoying yourself. Instead you have a part-time boyfriend who's causing you mental anguish, and although you tried to skip over it, you are having arguments. You gave up a lot to be near him, but it seems hardly worth it. And you describe him as distant, unavailable and insensitive, but then you say he loves you very much. Really? I think you're the one in love and he's the one using you as a doormat. You feel disrespected and that he doesn't care. He seems to only care about himself and I don't see what you're getting out of this relationship. The longer this situation goes on, the longer you're going to feel diminished and unloved. In a real relationship, both partners should be flexible with one another but it seems he's not willing to do anything for you, you have to make all the compromises. I think your friends are correct and you need to get out of this relationship. Find someone who cares about you, not himself.

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Sorry to say, but it's you being selfish here. This isn't the lifestyle he "wants to embark on." This is the lifestyle he already has. This is the lifestyle he had before you were in the picture. And, as he's explicitly told you, that this is the lifestyle he's going to keep.

 

I sold my car, gave up dominance in my home (I'm a student and lived with family), quit my job, and went there for the sake of our relationship.
It's too often folks see themselves as having altruistically sacrificed for their distance relationships when, in reality, you've simply given up on your own responsibility to build and sustain your own life so that you could benefit from the momentum of his. To be frank, that doesn't entitle you to anything. Unfortunately, the easy route turned out not to be so easy.

 

The cards are on the table and in plain sight. I'm not sure how you're in any way getting strung along. Your mental health isn't his responsibility, and if you're struggling with a relationship context wherein your partner is frequently absent due to travel, it's ultimately your responsibility to make your exit and establish a lifestyle that suits you. I really don't know what it was you saw resulting from this, but it clearly hasn't panned out accordingly. It's time to take responsibility and act in your own best interests independent of the life he chooses for himself.

Edited by j.man
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Your neediness is going to push him right out of your life. You are responsible for your own mental health and well being. There is nothing wrong with his character; he is a young man following his dreams and doing what he loves. Just because he has other work options that pay better, doesn't mean he wants do do them... not everyone is money motivated.

 

He isn't ready to settle down yet clearly. This doesn't mean he doesn't care about you, but I think you need to accept that he has no desire to give up the life he wants just to make you happy.

 

It isn't everyone that is capable of supporting a partner that travels a lot for work; if you aren't as you say equipped to support him in this lifestyle, then best let him go now before someone really gets hurt.

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You both are at an impasse....He wants to be out of town and explore new options, while you want more stability in a relationship. None of you are willing to compromise, which leads to you or him to make a decision to continue this relationship or not. He nor you are selfish or wrong, just have different expectations. If it doesn't feel right to you, you can say "no thanks" and walk.

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It makes no sense to expect a 25 year old to avoid developing his career any way he sees fit. So the question becomes, why aren't you focused on doing the same? You'd be far less needy if you'd develop a focus of your own. Quitting your job to become dependent on a lover was not a great move.

 

I'd move back home or to wherever the best job or further schooling is for YOU, and I'd seek a relationship with someone who meets your needs rather than trying to manipulate this guy into conforming. You're only pushing him away, anyway, so your prospects for a future with him don't look good unless the two of you can meet on higher ground someday. That would mean you'd have grown into someone who's focused on your own development and won't become miserable during his work trips.

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It's time to move back home and reclaim your life.

 

I don't think you should have upended your life to move to be near him.

 

He says that he will choose these trips over me because they benefit his personal growth,

 

That's pretty loud and clear exactly where you stand with him. You didn't have a stable enough relationship to move to his area, especially when he put you on notice before you moved there that he would pick his job over you. That statement should have had you filling the air with smell of asbestos.

 

He's not ready to settle down to domestic life--there are things he wants to do and places he wants to go. Whether or not you see job advancement with the company he works for is non sequitur--it's not your career.

 

If how you've been proceeding is anything like what you've described in your post, then yes, it looks like he goes on these trips to get away from you and more importantly: your expectations, which are making you appear selfish. Expectations are future resentments under construction.

 

He is not willing to compromise and say no to being gone 6 months out of the year.

 

Nor should he. Not for someone who isn't his wife and not for someone who moved to his city 4 months after going through on again off again for 7 months. This was his life before you came on the scene. It wasn't sprung on you 3 days ago.

 

Some relationships aren't meant to go the distance and this is probably one of them. What you have with him is a perpetual "honeymoon" phase because he's gone all the time. That's why it seems so amazing--but when you're around each other for long enough, you're fighting and arguing--and that's the real him and the real you doing that, not the "representatives on their best behavior" who appear after the absences.

Edited by Minikimini
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So...you gave up school, too? If you moved, you gave up in-state tuition for this guy.

Honestly, if i met a guy like this - i would go out with him when he was around for dates and would concentrate on my studies. When i was finished with my studies and he decided that he was going to find a job where he could travel less in order to continue our relationship, great, but if not, or if i met someone in the meantime while i was going out with him AND others, then it would not continue.

 

Its not unreasonable for him to decide in his 20s to travel a lot for work if he chose to

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