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Reflections welcomed, am I ruining my relationship by asking too much of my bf?


bonnie20

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We got together through tinder at a point where we were both struggling. I had broken up from a 6yr relationship and was finding it difficult adjusting to being alone. He has struggled with alcoholism since teenage years due to a difficult childhood and his dad dying. I want the best for us, what we’re doing just now isn’t working but when I try to speak to him about it he says that all I do is moan and bring him down.

 

He tells me that his life changed when we met. I love him, try to always treat him well and motivate us both to both feel good in life. Our relationship isn’t always difficult, we have some really great memories. He is the person I’m closest to, he makes me laugh, we have similar tastes in music, we’re attracted to each other, he always tells me I’m beautiful and the sex is good. He tells me that he loves me, and that he has cut down his drinking and started working for me - despite me always have encouraged him to do these things for himself. He has made a big effort to be close with my family, and at times he does try his best to spend quality time together. He enjoys spending time alone gaming, football and drinking. I enjoy spending time together doing anything, it’s a balance trying to meet both of our needs. I’m very aware that I need to respect his need for alone time.

 

Addiction:

He turns to alcohol to cope and has done since his teenage years. I understand this is a disease and the individual will only change if they want to. I tried to put boundaries in place but support him to get help. Last year he reluctantly went along to alcohol counselling, initially saying I left him no other option- but then said it changed his whole perspective on alcohol. He went 1 month sober. When drinking and after binging he experiences depression and anxiety, it really hurts me to see him in some of the states he’s been in - unwell for weeks, panic attacks, attempted to hang himself, vomit stains all over his trashed room. He still regularly lies about drinking, hiding bottles even though we have agreed that I accept he may relapse and there is no need to lie.

 

Around this time last year he went through a phase of disappearing to sisters house for benders. He done it again today and has now went awol, despite us having plans. She has her own house and young children, they drink in front of them, and have taken drugs.

I wasn’t brought up the same but snorting coke when you’re the main carer for toddlers in bed upstairs isn’t my idea of a good time. He told me that a guy should be able to hang about with his sister. Absolutely yes I agree family comes first and should always spend time - but surely seeing family doesn’t always have to involve alcohol? It’s convenient that he doesn’t speak to or offer to visit her when sober to help do the shopping, babysit etc.

 

Trust:

There have been issues with trust mostly during periods where his drinking increased.

In the first year or so of the relationship, if he was drinking a lot and I asked for distance to put boundaries in place - he perceived this as me not giving him attention so signed up to dating sites and spoke with other girls, text old girlfriends, snap chatted girls he was gaming with and hid it from me. He would not do this when sober, he tells me he is ashamed and embarrassed of it. I have a constant fear that he’s going to hurt me again.

 

Employment/Finances/Time together:

I’m 26 and earn a good wage, although still live at home with parents as I’ve got some debt to pay off. He also lives at home with his family.

He complains that I “forced” him to get a job after basically not working for past 4 years. He recently got a job where he works 2 long days per week which seems to be good for his motivation, confidence but I’m driving him there and back (100 miles per time) as he can’t drive, on top of my full time Monday-Friday 9-5 nursing job. After a shift he wants me to take him for food, drop him off at his home so he can get beer and game on his pc. He gets frustrated that I want to spend time with him.

I’ve paid for 3 fortnight holidays to abroad, trips away, food and goods, his vet bills etc. He has taken me on a few nice dates over the 4 years, but always things that I organised and he paid for I.e. cinema and dinner.

 

Self-Esteem:

Over the past month he has said,

“You ruin my happiness”

“You get enjoyment from bringing people down”

“You’ll never be happy until you see me completely miserable”

“You have nothing interesting in your life, that’s why you always want to spend time with me”

The comments make me feel worthless, coupled with not being treated special or taken on dates like I organise for him. He says he doesn’t make an effort because he’s a man and I shouldn’t expect so much, as he tries his best with me, and if I want something I should clearly tell him.

 

Mental Health:

My mental health has been awful over the past 3 weeks, I think as a response to how unhappy and unheard I am. I self harmed for the first time in 7 years for relief as I Didn’t know how to cope.

I know that my emotional health is 100% my own responsibility and I shouldn’t have called him, when I did he said “you’re doing this on purpose, can I not just have time to game?”

Last night tried to talk about how I feel, was in tears whilst he was messaging friends on discord, He ended up asking me for a lift home so he could game on the pc. I would never leave anyone feeling that alone and burdensome, is it wrong to expect him to support me? maybe I’m crossing boundaries and asking too much of him.

 

I’m not innocent. I clearly have issues with attachment and boundaries. I struggle with low self esteem and I’m working on this. I’m making changes with my lifestyle, learning to be assertive, I have contacted a therapist, I’m taking up new hobbies (exercise, guitar, learning a language, spending time alone) BUT I am so confused as to whether I’m over reacting, maybe I am asking for too much from him? maybe I have a personality disorder and I’m being completely unreasonable?

 

Please give me your perspective - I understand I’m only seeing it from my point of view and there’s a possibility that I’m being controlling, overly emotional or asking too much.

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