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On and off for almost 8 years... Do I need to walk away?


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My ex and I are best friends, and were together for six years. I broke up with him 2 years ago, and we recently started seeing each other again but I am scared that I am making a terrible decision. While he and I get along really well (I always joke that time seems to flow around us when we're together), there are some issues that have arisen over the years that have made me feel poorly about our relationship, and ultimately why I originally left. We were 18 when we both started dating, and I think the breakup was a result of us being so young and getting into a serious relationship before we really matured. Now he thinks that we are still right for each other, but I'm scared that not much has changed. I see some glaring issues that he has no problems with.

 

Some issues from the past:

 

- When we were moving into a our first apartment together, he was spending the summer abroad visiting his parents. I was spending the summer in our hometown so I agreed to look for a place for us. I was having a hard time finding an apartment to suit our needs, but finally found one that worked. His original ticket was booked for the day before we would have to move out, and I was struggling with packing all of our stuff (he had left all of his stuff at my place but it wasn't in boxes or anything). I was very stressed out and asked him if he could come earlier because I didn't think one day was enough time for us to prepare to move and I was already struggling with packing all of our stuff alone. He didn't want to move his ticket, so my parents drove up and helped me move. He didn't help in the move in any way, and he maintains that because I knew he would be away that summer I should've been fine handling it alone. He also still thinks that one day would've been sufficient to pack and move and that I was exaggerating about whole thing. He apologized, but doesn't think he did anything wrong (I'm not sure if he did either, but it still made me feel like he was being really selfish).

 

- After we had been together for 4 years, my dad got really sick and I was scared that he wasn't going to get better. I floated the idea of moving to be closer to my parents, and he said that I should go and he would stay, and we could try long distance. I felt like after 4 years, we should be a team and support each other, and him not wanting to come with me was really ty. He also refuses to ever move to the city where my parents live because it's boring and too conservative. I get it, but my dad was really sick and I was really worried.

 

- He was unemployed for six months and I was working full-time. I was paying the bills, and buying most of the groceries, and the house would always be a mess. He was surprised when I told him that I didn't feel like he was pulling his weight by not helping out around the house now that he had the time. He said that I shouldn't expect him to do more just because he is unemployed, because he would support me financially too if the situation was flipped. He started helping out more, but also maintained that he wasn't wrong and shouldn't automatically be expected to clean up more.

 

- After we broke up, I left the country for few weeks. I wanted to keep the apartment and he didn't want it, so I left to gave him some time to pack up. When I got back from my trip, he was already gone (also on a trip) but he had left all his stuff. His trip was for over half a year, and I had explicitly left on my trip to give him time to sort things out. He left all of his stuff where it was, not even packed! I bought boxes, a few friends came over, and we packed up all his stuff. I told him to get his friends to move it to a storage facility after a few months, or I would take it to the curb. He was really mad about it but eventually got his friends to come pick it up.

 

He is supportive in a lot of ways, especially with my mental illness. But I feel like he has this horrible habit of just pushing stuff onto other people, and that I can't rely on him to be there when I need him when things get hard. He keeps telling me that he does love me, and he wants to spend his life with me, but I don't feel like I can trust him. Stuff like never wanting to live near my parents to the point where he'd let me move away alone to support my sick dad, it just feels like he doesn't understand what a partnership is. Am I wrong it not wanting to let him back into my life, even though all of the other aspects of our relationship are amazing? I would really appreciate some perspective.

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I broke up with him 2 years ago, and we recently started seeing each other again.....

Hmm....What sort of interactions have you had during that 2 year period?

 

I'm doubting it was strict NC ya....?

 

Carus*

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I told him to get his friends to move it to a storage facility after a few months, or I would take it to the curb. He was really mad about it but eventually got his friends to come pick it up.
This is the first time in all of what is mentioned in your opening post where you actually set a boundary and did not ENABLE him to be the entitled jerk that you've painted him to be. Let him get mad... he's still with you in the misery isn't he...

 

With someone like him, that thinks it's unreasonable for you to ask him to pick up his weight at home when he is unemployed, has been spoiled by his mother doing everything for him and not expecting him to clean his own room or do home chores... he's not going to change and the more you enable him (by packing his stuff and moving it for him as one example) the more he isn't even going to attempt to pull his weight.

 

You have too many resentments (understandable) and too many break ups and getting back together when nothing has changed in him to realize that this relationship is not going to ever be one where you aren't complaining about him, enabling him, resenting him. You know this or this thread wouldn't exist so just break up with him now, move to be close to your parents and find a good guy who knows what it means to keep a tidy house when he's off work or to help you keep a tidy house when he's got a job. Someone who thinks of more than just himself and what he wants/needs.

 

Don't settle because that is why the divorce rate is so high and there are so many failures in common law arrangement... because people settle and then they can't stand it any longer. It takes much more than love or addiction to one another to make a relationship be a happy and healthy one.

 

Once you break up, go zero contact so you can get over him and find a good guy that you WERE meant to spend the rest of your life with.

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This is the first time in all of what is mentioned in your opening post where you actually set a boundary and did not ENABLE him to be the entitled jerk that you've painted him to be. Let him get mad... he's still with you in the misery isn't he...

 

With someone like him, that thinks it's unreasonable for you to ask him to pick up his weight at home when he is unemployed, has been spoiled by his mother doing everything for him and not expecting him to clean his own room or do home chores... he's not going to change and the more you enable him (by packing his stuff and moving it for him as one example) the more he isn't even going to attempt to pull his weight.

 

You have too many resentments (understandable) and too many break ups and getting back together when nothing has changed in him to realize that this relationship is not going to ever be one where you aren't complaining about him, enabling him, resenting him. You know this or this thread wouldn't exist so just break up with him now, move to be close to your parents and find a good guy who knows what it means to keep a tidy house when he's off work or to help you keep a tidy house when he's got a job. Someone who thinks of more than just himself and what he wants/needs.

 

Don't settle because that is why the divorce rate is so high the there are so many failures in common law arrangement... because people settle and then they can't stand it any longer. It takes much more than love or addiction to one another to make a relationship be a happy and healthy one.

 

I didn't mean to paint him as an entitled jerk. He can be very supportive and thoughtful, he just usually needs it explained first. I think my frustration is that it usually needs to be explained. Your bit about love or addiction feels... uncomfortably spot on though :(

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I didn't mean to paint him as an entitled jerk. He can be very supportive and thoughtful, he just usually needs it explained first. I think my frustration is that it usually needs to be explained. Your bit about love or addiction feels... uncomfortably spot on though :(

It not just that you painted him as one... He is one. He has entitlement issues. He's like "that's your job as the woman, not mine" kind of deal. Don't make excuses for him now that you've actually pin-pointed what he is (without your rose coloured glasses clouding your vision).

 

If all you think is wrong with things is that you have to tell him, if you're going to stay with him (not recommended) then learn to tell him without resentment but rather acceptance that that is what YOU have to do to change yourself in order to be content with him. You must learn to stop enabling him (by doing things for him that you've already asked him to do for example) and you have to let HIM suffer the consequences of his actions. Like you did when you told him to get his S*** picked up or it goes to the curb. If you have any chance of changing him at all (unlikely) then you're going to have to stop trying to control and let him sink or swim. If you don't think you can do that, then best to accept THAT now and get out of this relationship before he strips you of your joy.

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Please do not rekindle any romance with this person. The road to hell is often paved with good intentions.

 

This person needs time to mature and grow a little more gracefully. There is a phrase that resembles his behaviour in my culture and it translates more or less to 'disheveled/lopsided rickshaw'. He is all over the place, disorganized and inconsiderate. You would be right to remain cautious.

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He couldn't have taken advantage of you if you hadn't allowed him to.

 

You have set the precedent that he can slack and you'll always pick it up.

 

This dynamic would have to change or you'll break up again.

 

What do you think he'd do if you said "no" once in a while? Leave you? Do you fear him leaving you if you ever say "no"?

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He couldn't have taken advantage of you if you hadn't allowed him to.

 

You have set the precedent that he can slack and you'll always pick it up.

 

This dynamic would have to change or you'll break up again.

 

What do you think he'd do if you said "no" once in a while? Leave you? Do you fear him leaving you if you ever say "no"?

 

 

I guess the issue is that I never even get a chance to say no. Like when he didn't come back to help us move, or left all his stuff at the apartment instead of packing. I guess now I have my chance to say no? I think I just have a hard time accepting that he really has treated me poorly. He always has these explanations that make it sound like I was being somewhat unreasonable in expecting the things I did.

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It not just that you painted him as one... He is one. He has entitlement issues. He's like "that's your job as the woman, not mine" kind of deal. Don't make excuses for him now that you've actually pin-pointed what he is (without your rose coloured glasses clouding your vision).

 

If all you think is wrong with things is that you have to tell him, if you're going to stay with him (not recommended) then learn to tell him without resentment but rather acceptance that that is what YOU have to do to change yourself in order to be content with him. You must learn to stop enabling him (by doing things for him that you've already asked him to do for example) and you have to let HIM suffer the consequences of his actions. Like you did when you told him to get his S*** picked up or it goes to the curb. If you have any chance of changing him at all (unlikely) then you're going to have to stop trying to control and let him sink or swim. If you don't think you can do that, then best to accept THAT now and get out of this relationship before he strips you of your joy.

 

I don't think it's a sexism thing, more like a situational thing. Like he made it sound like just because he is unemployed, it doesn't mean he has to do more than usual. We've always split housework pretty evenly. But the other stuff... yeah, it's never going to change. I'm trying to accept it. It's hard to let go of someone you've been with for so long.

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Unfortunately he's very irresponsible and has a habit of fobbing everything off then playing the victim as if doing what everyone else does normally in the course of things is just too much of a hassle for him. Steer clear of entitled lazy people who are constantly a day late, a dollar short and have a pocket full of excuse. You'll have a happy life that way.

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He always has these explanations that make it sound like I was being somewhat unreasonable in expecting the things I did.

Please do a little Googling and research on ‘Gaslighting’ and report back here*

 

Carus*

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The only reason you're having trouble moving forward from this guy is because you've stayed involved with him. People who remain in the limbo disguised as friendship with an ex position themselves to stagnate. Then they believe that 'this' is as good as it gets, so why not settle?

 

Skip that. The guy wasn't right for you before, and he's not now. That will become painfully apparent if you take up with him again. I'd cut the contact and move FORward. You'll thank yourself later.

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Hi Carus,

 

I am very familiar with gaslighting, unfortunately. My mother and sister are deepy abusive, and frequently made me out to be crazy and over-emotional as a means of justifying physical and emotional beatings.

 

I don't think my ex gaslights me purposefully, especially because part of my mental illness I do often forget some things. The things that I place importance on, and which he finds unreasonable, are a result of mismatched expectations which I was under the impression were common but which he doesn't place importance on. For example, when my dad was sick I wanted to move home to be closer to him. He wanted to do long-distance or have my father move to be closer to me. I find it unreasonable that my elderly father, who owns a home, should have to move when I am young and only rent an apartment. It seemed like such an obvious choice, but my ex acts like his expectations were completely reasonable and normal. I'm not sure if its gaslighting or he is just very self-centered. Or then again, I might be completely wrong too. I guess I posted here because I am genuinely unsure if my expectations were reasonable (expecting him to fly home early to help us move, help out more when he's unemployed, support each other's family when sick, etc.) And I am really disappointed in myself for holding these grudges. I guess that's another thing I was always accused of growing up...my mom said I need to let go of past abuse because I wasn't such a good kid and deserved it, and that I hold onto unhealthy anger.

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